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April 16, 2013 7:27 pm

Poll: 45% of Polish High School Students Would be ‘Unhappy’ if Family Member Was Discovered to be Jewish

avatar by Zach Pontz

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Crowd near the wall of the Warsaw Ghetto. Photo: courtesy of The David S. Wyman Institute for Holocaust Studies.

A high proportion of Polish schoolchildren are openly anti-Semitic, according to a new survey carried out at schools across the capital city Warsaw.

The poll, commissioned by the city’s Jewish leaders to mark this Friday’s 70th anniversary of the Warsaw Uprising, showed more than 60 per cent of those asked would be ‘unhappy’ if they discovered their boyfriend or girlfriend was Jewish.

Researchers also found that 45 per cent of the city’s students would be “unhappy” if a family member turned out to be Jewish, with 44 per cent saying they wouldn’t want a Jewish neighbor and another 40 per cent saying they wouldn’t want to go to school with a Jew.

The students surveyed also showed a clear lack of knowledge of the city’s Jewish history. For example, they thought Warsaw’s pre-war Jewish population was 18 percent, when in fact every third resident of the city was Jewish.

The UK’s Daily Mail quoted Dr Michal Bilewicz, from Poland’s Centre for the Research of Prejudice at Warsaw University, as saying: “The historical awareness of Warsaw’s high school students is extremely poor, which is unfortunately a reflection on the standard of teaching in our schools.

“And this lack of historical consciousness and awareness explains their aversion to modern Jews.”

The poll was carried out by public opinion researchers Homi Homini in March, with 1,250 high school students taking part.

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