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    National Remembrance Day of Poles Rescuing Jews

    78 years ago, on March 24th the Ulma family – consisting of Józef, his pregnant wife Wiktoria, and their 6 kids were shot down for helping Jews. During World War II many Poles helped Jews survive, whether by giving out food or hiding them under their roofs. A weighty amount of those people was murdered, hence why National Remembrance Day was established.

    The Ulma family consisted of Józef, the father, aged 44; his pregnant wife, Wiktoria and 6 children from ages 1.5 to 8. Since 1942, they had been hiding the members of three Jewish families (Didners, Gruenfelds and Goldmans) in their house in a village Markowa in the Sub-Carpathian region. They were denounced by a policeman from the village.

     

    At 5 A.M. on March 24th 1944, Nazi soldiers burst into Ulmas’ house and started firing at the Jews. Later they conducted the parents in front of their house and shot them down, and after a short debate, they decided to kill the children as well. Their bodies were supposed to be buried in one big pit, but the villagers of Markowa asked the Nazis to dig separate graves for Christians and Jews. They also secretly buried Ulmas in coffins.

     

    The National Remembrance Day of Poles saving Jews under the German occupation was established in 2018. Since then, museum exhibitions, discussions and author meetings are organized in celebration of those who were helping the victims of antisemitism. This year, there are many initiatives as well. There is an outdoor exhibition “Poles helping Jews during WWII” in the Rzeszów unit of the Institute of National Remembrance, open until April 18th. In Głogów Małopolski, an opening of the Ładoś Group memorial will take place, and in the Sub-Carpathian Philharmonic in Rzeszów at 7 P.M. a concert honouring the helpers will start. You can see the whole schedule here.

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