The International School for Holocaust Studies
Teaching the Legacy: e-Newsletter for Holocaust Educators
Graduate Spotlight: Maria Borzecka, Poland
A few years ago, Polish teacher Maria Borzecka participated in an intensive teacher-training seminar designed for teachers from throughout Poland at the European Department at the International School for Holocaust Studies at Yad Vashem. Since then, she has maintained a close relationship with Holocaust survivor Hannah Gofrit.
The personal story of Hannah Gofrit, born in Biala Ravska, Poland, is featured in the age-appropriate book developed by the School, I Wanted to Fly Like a Butterfly. This Yad Vashem educational resource, translated into a number of European languages, is frequently presented within the framework of pedagogical workshops organized in the School. Since 2005, the European Department has trained several thousands of educators representing approximately 25 countries across the continent.
After reading Gofrit’s story, Borzecka decided to visit 64 Zelzenah Street in Warsaw where Gofrit hid for two years with her mother in the apartment of the Skovroneck family, who have been recognized by Yad Vashem as Righteous among the Nations.
In May, 2009, Gofrit and her family visited the Willy Brandt Bilingual German-Polish School in the Polish capital where Borzecka teaches. During the meeting with Borzecka’s students, Gofrit answered questions and admired the children’s colorful art projects inspired by Hannah’s personal story.
In December, 2009, Maria Borzecka will be returning with another group of committed Polish educators and leaders in Holocaust education in Poland to attend a special graduates seminar at the School. Gofrit and Borzecka are already anticipating their reunion at Yad Vashem.
For more information about the work of the European Department, please write to: Europe@yadvashem.org.il