For many years – like the vast majority of the Polish society – I was a victim of “collective amnesia”, which eradicated the memory of our Jewish neighbors from Polish historic consciousness. My knowledge of this topic was limited barely to a few ominous names of sites where Jews had been murdered and the specifics of how the killing process was implemented. I did not use my first opportunity to get to know local Polish-Jewish history better. I completely ignored the many attempts that my neighbor made trying to tell me about what happened in Grajewo, Radziwiłów or Jedwabne. I treated his inner need to give testimony with the ignorance typical of a young man who was completely focused on mundane problems connected with growing pains. The issue came up again when I was in my last year of history studies at the university. I took part in a project entitled: “Jewish Heritage Trail in Białystok”, the aim of which was to incorporate the rich legacy of the Jews of Białystok into the city’s historical narrative. This was a breakthrough moment, as only then I felt Jewish absence for the first time. This was also when a protest was born inside me against the phenomenon of displacing Jews from Polish history and from our collective memory. When I started working as a history teacher in a high-school in Wasilków, I found allies among my students, who supported me in my mission of reclaiming the memory of the Jews. Almost ten years have passed since we started to take care for the remainders of Jewish material legacy, at the same time constantly trying to learn about the diversity and richness of Jewish culture.
I am a sociologist, history teacher, but I also teach social studies at the Rev. W. Rabczyński High School in Wasilków. Additionally, I am the president of the Open Education Foundation, I am a licensed tour guide of the Podlasie province; I participate and coordinate projects dedicated to providing education about multiculturalism and local history (“Jewish Heritage Trail”, “Multi-Coalition of Podlasie”, “Immortalizing Atlantis”, etc.); I supervise projects addressed to Chechen students (“Towards Enriching Diversity”, “Our World in 36 Film Frames”, “Through Hardships to the Stars”);