Polish children perform school play dressed as camp inmates

The children, some wearing Auschwitz inmate uniforms and some as guards, were presenting the life of a murdered Polish priest in the camp.

June 26, 2019 09:06
1 minute read.
Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki

Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki attends a commemoration event at the former Nazi German concentration and extermination camp Auschwitz II-Birkenau, during the ceremonies marking the 74th anniversary of the liberation of the camp and International Holocaust Victims Remembrance Day. (photo credit: REUTERS)


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Polish first-grade students dressed up as Auschwitz inmates as part of a school- play representing the life of Polish Catholic priest Maximilian Kolbe, Czas Chojnic reported on June 19.

Some of the children were dressed as guards, others were dressed in stripped prison uniforms and all 28 children vowed to be good students in the play, which was performed on June 10.
The children wore the red triangle marking them as Poles, similar to that of the yellow star worn by Jews during the Holocaust.  

Some social media users lauded the show, calling it a great educational tool to teach both history and Catholic values; others wondered if having a child point a made-up rifle at his classmates is the best way to teach about Kolbe.

Others objected to the whole thing, saying the harsh topic is inappropriate for such young children and that there's no reason to connect taking an oath to be a good student with such a tragic story.  

Some were even more harsh, calling the show “sick” and saying the parents “should be ashamed.” 

Kolbe was a Catholic priest who volunteered to take the place of another Polish inmate selected to be starved to death as Nazi punishment for the escape of another prisoner. Kolbe managed to survive two weeks without food or water, but was killed by the Nazis using a lethal injection.

Historically, while Jews were the largest population in Auschwitz with roughly one million Jewish people from all over Europe, there were other groups of inmates in the infamous death camp. 

These include Poles (roughly 150,000) Soviet prisoners of war (12,000) and Sinti and Roma people (23,000).

Homosexuals were also imprisoned in Auschwitz as well as in other camps [Sachsenhausen and Buchenwald], since the Nazis regarded them as perverts. They attempted to re-orient gay inmates using such methods as hard labor and medical experiments.

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