Let’s Meet at the Museum
Programmes for Schools
The Jewish Cultural Heritage programme’s offerings for schools focused on citizenship education through historical awareness. They included workshops, meetings with Holocaust Survivors and rescuers honoured with the title of Righteous Among the Nations, films, publications and educational materials available online as well as professional development programmes for teachers.
The vast majority of our programmes for schools and teachers were rooted in POLIN’s core exhibition, a multimedia narrative experience of the thousand-year history of Polish Jews.
The activities focused on Jewish culture and history which are treated as an integral part of Polish heritage. All the workshops for schools met the requirements of the national core curriculum. All educational activities were free of charge to enable access for underprivileged children and youth. Some students were also offered transportation. Additionally, a number of schools took part in the Polish-Norwegian student exchange programme organised in cooperation with the Falstad Memorial and Centre for Human Rights in Norway.
Also in cooperation with the Falstad Centre, we organised international workshops for educators. Numerous courses, seminars and conferences addressed to teachers were organised as part of the professional development programme; they provided more in-depth knowledge of the core exhibition and other educational resources such as the USC Shoah Foundation’s Visual History Archive of twentieth-century Holocaust witness testimonies, the largest archive of this kind in the world. A network of Ambassadors was also created, consisting of teachers and methodologists from all over Poland who consult and shape POLIN’s educational programmes as well as act as the Museum’s local promoters.
For teachers and educators we published the book, 1000-Year History of Polish Jews: A Journey through the Ages, by the well-known teacher Robert Szuchta, as well as a teacher’s calendar featuring Jewish holidays, and the board game POLIN. An online database of educational materials was also created.
Out of 408 surveyed teachers (recipients of the POLIN Museum newsletter), 92% include topics related to the history and culture of Polish Jews in their teaching, whereas 46% use the teaching materials developed by the museum in class.
Films addressed to schools, aired online and on public television, proved an immense success. Two lessons entitled The Story of Polish Jews, broadcast live to schools from the core exhibition right before its opening in October 2014, were honoured with a distinction during the national History Event of the Year plebiscite. To commemorate the 73rd anniversary of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising, POLIN Museum produced the film There Was No Hope: The Warsaw Ghetto Uprising 1943, in which excerpts from witness testimonies were combined with animated drawings in order to tell the story of the Uprising.
Daffodil Educational And Social Campaign
The aim of the Daffodil campaign is to raise awareness of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising in Poland. The commemoration of this event on 19 April, the anniversary of the outbreak of the uprising, is supported by hundreds of volunteers who distribute information leaflets and paper daffodils in memory of the Ghetto fighters and the hundreds of thou-sands of Jews deported from the Warsaw ghetto to Treblinka. During the campaign, schools all over Poland organise special projects. TV anchors, politicians and celebrities join in the campaign by wearing paper daffodil pins.
The Daffodil Social and Educational Campaign was first organised in 2013 to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising. It was a response to Poles’ low awareness and general lack of knowledge about the uprising. Why yellow daffodils? From the early 1970s, every April, Marek Edelman, one of the leaders of the uprising, would receive yellow flowers from an anonymous sender. He would lay them at the base of the Monument to the Ghetto Heroes, which now faces POLIN Museum.
In 2014–2017, the Daffodil campaign was organised as part of the Jewish Cultural Heritage programme. Each year thousands of volunteers and students and teachers from all over Poland get involved in the campaign. On 19 April, several hundred volunteers, trained at POLIN Museum, go out into the streets of Warsaw to distribute paper daffodils to passers-by and tell them about the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising. The volunteers rated the opportunity to get involved in the campaign very highly: 93% of those surveyed declared willingness to take part in it again, whereas 87% appreciated the usefulness of the training (240 people surveyed in 2016).
Teaching materials are also distributed as part of the Daffodil campaign. They are subsequently used by teachers to conduct special classes and implement educational projects. Libraries all over the country are also getting involved.
The Daffodil campaign is accompanied by a massive media and information campaign in public spaces across Warsaw. Both the national and local administration get involved, as do numerous institutions of culture and art and academic institutions. The campaign is supported by most Jewish organisations. Our partners organise e.g. volunteer points where they help hand out daffodils and information leaflets.
Social authority figures as well as celebrities have taken part in the campaign, including actresses Maja Ostaszewska and Magdalena Cielecka, film director Agnieszka Holland, Catholic priest and journalist Adam Boniecki, and top model Anja Rubik. On 19 April, news anchors on most TV channels wear paper daffodils.
Supported from the Norway and EEA Grants by Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway.