On March 21 in Warsaw, Cultural Attaché Dan Hastings attended the exhibit “It Is Deeds That Make The Man – Poles Who Helped Jews during The Holocaust in The Eastern Borderlands of The Second Polish Republic” opened by the Institute of National Memory (IPN). IPN President Jarosław Szarek officially launched the exhibit that features photos and documents of Poles who helped Jews during the Holocaust in the eastern part of the former Second Republic of Poland according to the country’s pre-World War II administrative division. Prepared by the Institute of National Memory branch in Rzeszów, the exhibit contains photographs taken before, during, and after World War II, and includes available photos of Jews whom Poles helped.
The exhibit opening was attended by Poles recognized as “The Righteous Among The Nations” by the Yad Vashem Institute in Jerusalem. The exhibit included photos and stories about the Polish Righteous Among The Nations as well as photos, documents, and stories of Poles who saved Jews during the Holocaust but whose deeds are less well known for various reasons. Photos and documents from the exhibit came from the collections of the POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews, the Jewish Historical Institute, the Congregation of The Franciscan Sisters of The Family of Mary in Sambor, private collections, and publications. According to the exhibit organizers, some of the materials presented are being shown for the first time. The exhibit can be visited at IPN’s History Station Educational Center located at Marszałkowska 21/25.
“The Righteous Among the Nations” are individuals who risked their lives to save Jews during World War II as they faced extermination by Nazi Germany. Since the inception of the honor in 1963, the greatest number of recipients of “The Righteous Among the Nations” honor are Polish citizens who saved Jews from extermination during the Holocaust. Out of a total number of 26,973 awards conferred worldwide, 6,863 Poles have been honored with the award. The IPN exhibit mentions that at least 1,300 of the Polish Righteous were Poles from the eastern part of the former Second Republic of Poland.