Dariusz Sirko MA Student, Graduate School of Social Research, Institute of Philosophy and Sociology of the Polish Academy of Sciences, Research in Culture, Media and Society, Poland
In 2018 a strikingly worrying survey report was presented by Richard Allen Greene, CNN News Editor: memory of the holocaust in Europe is fading and anti-Semitism finds its justification in the mind of one in five respondents to CNN poll. More specifically, the report uncovers that 32% of Polish millennials who took part in the survey know ‘nothing’ or ‘just a little’ about the Holocaust. Taking into account that Germany-occupied Poland was the main centre to Nazi systematic destruction of European Jews, the number seem to be igniting certain concerns. Consequently, this research is conducted with one particular purpose, namely – to answer what motivates Polish millennials to active and voluntary participation in undertakings aimed at preserving the memory of the Holocaust. The brief introduction to work consists of a historical context to Polish-Jewish relations for the last one hundred years. Although the relations of the two dates back over one thousand years, what matters to this work most is Polish attitudes towards Jews during the outbreak of the Second World War and Polish reaction to German campaign of genocide. Secondly, on the example of the Daffodils Campaign, annual event organized by the Museum of the History of Polish Jews in Warsaw, it was enquired into what motivates Polish millennial volunteers to participate in the undertaking that since 2013 aims at preserving the memory of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising and the Holocaust. Thanks to a direct discussion with Ewa Budek, Coordinator of Public Programs and actual initiator of the Daffodils Campaign, Dorota Siarkowska, Coordinator of Educational Programs, Joanna Garsztka, Senior Volunteer Specialist and Małgorzata Zając, Marketing Research Director; the author attempts to obtain the following information: (a) the number of Polish millennials participating in the voluntary work during the Daffodils Campaign. (b) the motives of the volunteers and their aspirations (c) the assessment by my interviewees of educational needs among Polish millennials to preserve the memory of the Holocaust. Thirdly, in the conclusion there are presented possible recommendations for further research into how to effectively encourage young non-Jewish adults to take an active part in future Polish Jewish events aimed to raising knowledge about the Holocaust.