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Historians Unite to Protest against New Polish History Curriculum

Hungary Today 2024.02.29.
István Báthory, King of Poland and Prince of Transylvania in Jan Matejko’s painting

More than 60 Hungarian and Polish historians are protesting against the Hungarophobic turn in Polish history education, reported Magyar Jelen.

The Polish government’s Ministry of Education has thoroughly rewritten the curriculum, which has removed several key historical events in Hungarian-Polish relations. In a resolution signed by 32 Hungarian and Polish historians each, the Hungarian-Polish Joint Committee of Historians of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences condemned the change.

Since last December, Poland’s new left-leaning government has been accused of dismantling Polish society based on traditional foundations. One of the main battlegrounds of this destruction is education, for which Barbara Nowacka  is responsible in the Tusk administration.

Polish Minister of Education, Barbara Nowacka. Photo: Facebook / Barbara Nowacka

Among the subjects most affected is history. As a result of the education “reform, Polish primary schools will no longer teach the following:

  • the reception of Christianity and its cultural impact on the Polish people
  • the European revolutions and liberation struggles of 1848-49
  • the creation of independent Poland’s borders after World War I and the Silesian Uprising
  • the Stalinist terror
  • and the life and influence of Pope John Paul II on Polish society.

The changes also cover several key historical events in Hungarian-Polish relations. From the previous curriculum, they have proceeded to remove:

  • the Polish-Hungarian relations in the 14th and 15th centuries
  • the reign of István Báthory, Prince of Transylvania and King of Poland
  • the events linked to the 1956 Hungarian revolution and its Polish connections.

    István Báthory. Picture: Wikipedia

These last three topics have, for understandable reasons, been a source of protest for Hungarian and Polish historians who cherish Hungarian-Polish friendship. The resolution issued by the Hungarian Academy of Sciences’ Joint Committee of Hungarian-Polish Historians underlines that the new draft treats Hungarian-Polish historical relations negatively on the three points mentioned above. According to the statement, the new framework curriculum is completely contrary to the spirit of traditional Hungarian-Polish friendship, as well as to the aims of history education.

“The Hungarian-Polish Joint Committee of Historians… agrees that Hungarian-Polish historical relations are crucial for the understanding of the history not only of our nations but of our region as a whole, and their removal from the curriculum could cause serious distortions in the development of national and regional consciousness of future generations,” reads the resolution, signed by a total of 64 Hungarian and Polish historians.

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Via Magyar Jelen; Featured Image: Wikipedia

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