Catholic School Educators Embark To Poland To Witness Firsthand Horrors Of The Holocaust
New York, NY, April 19, 2005 …To mark the 60th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz, more than 75 Catholic school educators will join the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) delegation to Poland to see firsthand the remnants of the Holocaust. They will be participating on the 2005 March of the Living (MOTL), an international educational program that is expected to bring more than 18,000 individuals beginning May 3 for a week to see concentration camps and commemorate Yom Hashoah, Holocaust Memorial Day. The instructors will spend the majority of time in places of particular interest to teachers and Catholics.
"Since this year is the 60th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz, this March of the Living is especially meaningful," said Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director, who was saved from the Holocaust by his Polish nanny who had him baptized and raised as a Catholic until his parents reclaimed him at the end of the war. "It's important for Catholic school teachers to educate their students about the Holocaust since many of the survivors are dying and there are still those that deny the Holocaust happened."
The teachers will tour Czesochova, Poland's prime religious center, which houses a monastery and the "Black Madonna." Catholics believe this wooden icon that stands in the center of Czesochova was a remnant from the table at Jesus's Last Supper. They will attend mass at Saint John's Cathedral in Warsaw and visit the Center for Jewish Culture in Krakow. While at the museum, they will engage in dialogue with Polish teachers and discuss how the Holocaust is taught in Poland and compare how it's taught in America.
They will also visit the concentration camps and one of the oldest synagogues in Krakow. On May 5, they will come together with the other MOTL participants for the three-kilometer march that retraces the final steps of the countless Jews and others from the concentration camp at Auschwitz to the gas chambers and crematoria at Birkenau.
All of the teachers have completed ADL's Braun Holocaust Institute's Bearing Witness Program, which has sensitized them to anti-Semitism, the Holocaust and the Church's role in the Holocaust.
The Anti-Defamation League, founded in 1913, is the world's leading organization fighting anti-Semitism through programs and services that counteract hatred, prejudice and bigotry.