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  II Liceum Ogólnokształcące im. Marii Konopnickiej w Zamościu  
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"To Bring Memory Back" edition 2005-2006

CHELM - School complex No 1


Who are we

CHELM - School complex No 1

What we do in the project

Project: The whole world is a one big Chelm

Texts sent by the students (PDF format):
» Jewish historic sites in Chelm - city map with description
» Report from the International Holocaust Memorial Day
» Article published in the school newspaper "Verboom"
» The realisation of our project - March 2006

First of all students from the Schools no. 1 in Chelm want to explain why they decided to join the programme:
Chelm is a town located in the Eastern Poland with a population of 70 thousands people. Before the WWII it was inhabited by a multicultural community and c. 50% of local people were Jews. It was the second largest Jewish community (after Lublin) in the Lubelskie Voivodship.
Our fascination with the history and culture of Polish Jews, the unique multicultural heritage of our region and our wish to fight the negative stereotypes as well as to explore the past and share our knowledge – these are the reasons why we started “The whole world is a one big Chelm” project. This quotation derives from Isaac Bashevis Singer – the Jewish writer born in Poland, the Nobel Prize winner, known also for popularising the Chelm motifs.
Jews were living in Chelm for ages and they created a unique folklore. The town itself became a sort of ‘mythic’ place – famous for the ludicrous and extraordinary mindset of local people. This image was developed by jokes about Chelm, which became the significant part of the Jewish culture. You can read more about it in a book “By the Shabbat candles”, by Horacy Serfin.
We want to explore this forgotten world; therefore we prepared the detailed action plan:
1. We make an Internet research.
2. We make a research in the local library and the state archives.
3. We have invited Mr Zbigniew Lubaszewski, passionate of Chelm’s and its history, to the meeting at our school.
4. We collect testimonies of elder people, who remember Chelm Jews.
5. We made a poll concerning knowledge about ethnic minorities in the interwar period in Chelm.
6. There was a lesson about ethnic minorities in Poland connected with special presentations of the Jewish, Roma and Ukrainian cultures.
7. We want to find traces of the material Jewish culture in Chelm.
8. In the springtime we want to check the condition of the local Jewish cemetery.
9. We want to make contact with the Jewish organizations and people feeling connected with our town.

We have even more ideas and plans…

Pupils from this school have sent us many interesting texts - for example a city map with the Jewish places marked, unfortunately available only in Polish.

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