Marek Kuchciński, Speaker of the Sejm, opened an exhibition devoted to Poles saving Jews during World War II

Sejm Speaker Marek Kuchcinski opened the exhibition "Poles rescuing Jews during World War II" in the main hall (first floor) today. The ceremony was also attended by Deputy Speaker of the Sejm Ryszard Terlecki, President of the Institute of National Remembrance Łukasz Kamiński, parliamentarians and representatives of the diplomatic corps and local authorities.

Thousands of our compatriots brought help to their neighbors, other citizens of the Second Republic of Poland of Jewish and Mosaic nationality - said Marshal Marek Kuchciński while opening the exhibition. Among them was the Ulma family, mentioned by Marshal Kuchciński, who will be the patron of the Museum of Poles Saving Jews, opening in Markowa on March 17. The Ulmas hid eight Jews in their home. On March 24, 1944, they were murdered for doing so, along with their six children. All the Jews they were hiding were also murdered.

Today, remembering those atrocious crimes committed by the Germans 75 years ago, we have a duty to return to it, to remind for the sake of memory and truth. We must think about our future so that no more such crimes are repeated, neither in Poland nor in the world - said the Speaker of the Sejm, thanking the Institute of National Remembrance for its activities contributing to nurturing this memory.

- The issues we are touching through this exhibition are not only one of the most important tasks in the scientific and educational dimensions of the Institute of National Remembrance, but are in fact a certain fundamental element of our common identity. They are one of the most important topics that touch the past, but also the present and the future - said the President of the Institute of National Remembrance Łukasz Kamiński. He also stressed that the memory of Poles who saved Jews during World War II is our duty - we must remember the values guiding these people and instill them in future generations.

Dariusz Iwaneczko - acting director of the Rzeszow branch of the IPN - noted that the Museum of Poles Saving Jews in Markowa will be unique on a global scale. The exhibition presented at the Sejm will accompany the opening of the facility. - We attach great importance to this exhibition also because its first opening takes place in the Sejm of the Republic of Poland, here where the laws of the Republic of Poland are made. From here should go this important voice about the heroism of Poles in the years of World War II - Iwaneczko said.

The presented documents and photographs introduce selected profiles and activities of Poles involved in helping the Jewish population in occupied Poland. Poles, under the threat of severe punishment, helped Jews individually - including smuggling food and medicine to ghettos and labor camps, hiding them in their homes and apartments, or smuggling them across the border of the occupied country. The exhibition also depicts the organized assistance of Poles to Jews - thanks to the work of the "Zegota" Council for Aid to the Jews, many of them managed, among other things, to obtain the necessary documents to pass themselves off as so-called "Aryans" or to provide them with material aid. Saving Jewish children, "Zegota" placed them in various educational institutions and foster families.

The exhibition was prepared by the Bureau of Public Education of the Institute of National Remembrance - Commission for the Prosecution of Crimes against the Polish Nation, as part of the research project "Holocaust of Jews on Polish soil". The author of the exhibition scenario is Dr. Elżbieta Rączy from the Rzeszów branch of the IPN.


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