Memory and responsibility : the legacy of Jan Karski / editor Eugeniusz Smolar
- Warsaw : Fundacja Edukacyjna Jana Karskiego : Polish History Museum : Semper Scientific Publishers, 2015
Includes bibliographical references
In 1942, Jan Karski, a young soldier of the Polish Underground, was entrusted with an important mission: to inform the Allied powers about the realities of the German occupation and the extermination of European Jews that was taking place on Polish soil. A witness to the Holocaust, Karski tried in vain to convince Allied leaders, including U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt, to intervene on behalf of the victims. Although he had risked his own life to help, Karski felt personally responsible for the Allies' inability or unwillingness to assist European Jews. This sense of shared responsibility for the Holocaust, along with the need to remember and draw lessons for the future was the heart of Karski's life mission and a source of his moral legacy. Since the end of World War II, many Christians and Jews, spiritual and intellectual leaders, in the West and in the East, have addressed the Holocaust and anti-Semetism and, more broadly speaking, racism and its consequences. Younger generations, although unburdened by their own memory of the horrors past, are guided by a feeling of responsibility, not only for the preservation of this memory but also for the future. Confronted by old questions, they raise new ones. They are searching for answers and draw conclusions for further reflection and action. To pay tribute to Karski's life and legacy, in 2014 the Jan Karski Educational Foundation with the Museum of Polish History celebrated the 100th anniversary of his birth with an international conference focusing on two interconnected themes: memory and responsibility. The conference became both a Polish-Jewish and Polish-Polish debate. Participants discussed contentious issues about Poland's past, pondered critical aspects concerning Jewish and Polish memory, and equally important, addressed areas for future dialogue. -- from back cover.
Record last modified: 2018-05-22 12:01:00
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