Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA)

From: Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA) in Sydney. Response
on: Modern History Senior Years - Feedback
Monday, 2 August, 2010 1:21 PM

Dear Dr Niemotko,

Thank you for your email submission providing feedback to the draft senior secondary Australian Curriculum: Modern History course. ACARA appreciates your valuable input. Your feedback will be forwarded to the independent research company that ACARA has engaged to analyse all consultation data.  ACARA will refine the draft curriculum in response to all of the feedback from national consultation, and will publish a consultation report detailing the methodology for the collection and analysis of all consultation data, along with ACARA’s actions to address identified key issues. Your feedback will also be passed on to the relevant ACARA Curriculum Managers and SeniorProject Officers.
Once again, thank you for your feedback.  ACARA continues to welcome your involvement in
the development of the Australian Curriculum.


ACARA Consultation

Dr Waldemar Niemotko   
Modern History Curriculum for Senior Years: Feedback
According to ACARA: ”Historical study is based on the evidence of the remains of the past.  (…)  The curriculum set out here takes a world history approach. It does so to equip students for the world in which they will live.  An understanding of world history will enhance student’s appreciation of Australian history.”   
Following this definition of the role of historical study, I propose to include into the curriculum for senior years a brief mention of the fate of Poland during Second World War – the first nation-state that opposed Nazism militarily.  As both the leading American war historian, General Dr David Zabecki and the renowned British historian, Norman Davies point out, Poles fought German longer that anyone else and were present on all fronts during the entire war.  Polish fighter pilots took part gallantly in the Battle of Britain, and seamen protected supply routes across the Atlantic. Polish ground forces forged strong brotherhood-in-arms with Australian troops at Tobruk and in Italy.  Polish guerillas attacked Nazi supply lines to the Eastern front, while their clandestine intelligence service informed the Western allies about the new weapons being developed by Germany, notably V-1 and V-2 flying bombs and rockets.
The genocide, following the Nazi invasion on 1st September 1939 from the West, and the Soviet invasion on 17th September 1939 from the East, was a unique tragedy, because both totalitarian regimes targeted elite of the Polish society: military and police officers, civil servants, university professors, clergy, doctors, teachers, scientists and all sorts of intellectuals.  The Nazis carried out the heinous Extraordinary Pacification Action (Ausserordentliche Befriedungsaktion, in abbreviation: Operation AB) in 1940.  
At the same time, the Soviets murdered nearly twenty-two thousand Polish POWs, in at least ten “killing fields” that have the collective name of the Katyn Massacre. The Soviets later claimed it had been carried out by Hitler’s henchmen  in 1941, and even tried, unsuccessfully, during the Nuremberg Trial, to include it among the Nazi crimes against humanity.  The Western powers, eager to maintain the USSR as their ally in the war effort, went along with Stalin’s false version.  They did little to reveal and diffuse hard facts about the event, in effect making the lies about the Katyn Massacre, for many decades after the war, a universal case of a deliberate Historical Truth Denial.
(Fact finding was consulted with Daniel Gromann, Consul General of the Republic of Poland in Sydney)


A więc wojna…: Ludność cywilna we wrześniu 1939 r., It’s War..., The Civilian Population in September 1939, Institute of National Remembrance, Warsaw-Lublin, 2009, ISBN 978-83-7629-069-0

Davies, Norman, Europe at War: 1939-1945, Macmillan, London, 2006, ISBN 978-033369-2851

Koskodan, Kenneth K., No Greater Ally: The Untold Story of Poland’s Forces in World War II, Osprey Publishing, Oxford, ISBN-13: 978-1-84603-365-0

Kurtyka, Janusz (ed.), The Destruction of the Polish Elite: Operation AB-Katyn, Institute of National Remembrance, Warsaw, 2009, ISBN 978-83-7629-107-9 Zabecki, David T. (ed), Encyclopedia of World War II: A Political, Social and Military History, ABC-Clio, Santa Barbara, California, 2005, ISBN 1576-079-996

Zaloga, Steven J., Poland 1939: The Birth of Blitzkrieg, Osprey Publishing, 2009, ISBN 204- 00802

Back to Links

Copyright © 2008 to the present, Australian International Research Institute Incorporated. All Rights Reserved - text version.