After a French textbook accused Poles of responsibility for the Holocaust, a 19-year-old fought for a correction

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When Polish-French student Jakub Vaugon first read a statement in his school textbook that claimed Poles helped Germans murder prisoners in the German Treblinka death camp, he knew he had to act.

In what was described as a patriotic act by Vaugon, the Facebook page of the 1944 Warsaw Uprising Museum detailed what the student did to protest the false information.

“Jakub Vaugon is a 19-year-old boy from a Polish-French family who live in Paris. In 2017, during a history class in a French gymnasium, he protested against a statement within his history textbook that accused Poles in the German Treblinka death camp of helping Germans perpetrate the genocide of Jews and prisoners of other nationalities.”

Although his school was unwilling to aid him, with help from his parents, Vaugon was able to fight for a correction and an official apology from the textbook’s publisher which had included the false information.

The Facebook profile also attached a short video in which Vaugon’s everyday life can be seen and the narrator talks about the boy’s accomplishment.

The death camp in Treblinka was constructed by Germans in 1942. Its first commandant was medical doctor Imfried Eberl, followed by Franz Stangl. The first transport to the camp took place on July 23, 1942, and contained Jews from the Warsaw ghetto. Subsequent transports came from German-occupied Poland, Germany, Austria, France, Czechoslovakia, and the USSR.

The camp’s prisoners were well aware that the only way of escaping their suffering was an armed uprising, which several of them had successfully carried out on Aug. 2. 1943.

According to estimates, 900,000 people had been killed in Treblinka, with 760,000 of them coming from Polish territory.

Title image source of Jakub Vaugon: Warsaw Uprising Museum’s Facebook video clip picture grab.

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