Poland Seeks to End Stereotypes at March

April 22, 2007

Author: Vanessa Gera

Source: Phillyburbs

Wire Service: AP


WARSAW, Poland - For Eric Robertson, Poland was a place frozen in black and white snapshots, preserved in his mind as the site of the Holocaust's death camps.

This week, however, the 17-year-old from Greensboro, N.C., stood in a Warsaw school gymnasium and played bluegrass on his mandolin before a crowd of enthusiastic Polish teens who offered their own performances.

He is among a group of scores of American Jewish teens taking part in an effort to bring young Poles and Jews together on the sidelines of the March of the Living, an annual Holocaust remembrance and education event at the former Nazi death camp of Auschwitz-Birkenau.

Before the afternoon was up, the Polish and American Jewish teens joined together to sing "Lean On Me," laughed and joked, and swapped e-mail addresses.

Robertson, who wore a sweat shirt from the Berklee College of Music in Boston as he played, was approached by one of the Polish singers, Monika Borzym, 17. They discovered they will both attend Berklee and set up a time to play music together over the weekend.