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Wednesday, 21 March 2018

President signs bill for Day of Remembrance of Poles who saved Jews

President Andrzej Duda

President Andrzej Duda on Wednesday signed into law a bill declaring March 24 as the National Day of Remembrance of Poles who saved Jews from the Holocaust during World War Two.


"In tribute to Polish citizens, heroes, who in the act of heroic courage, matchless valour, compassion and solidarity between people, faithful to the highest ethical values, Christian mercy and the ethos of the sovereign Republic of Poland, saved their Jewish neighbours from the Holocaust planned and implemented by the German occupiers," reads the preamble of the law.


The draft on the National Day of Remembrance of Poles who saved Jews during WWII was prepared by President Andrzej Duda.


On March 24, 1944, Jozef and Wiktoria Ulma were executed by the Nazi Germans together with their six children and the Jewish fugitives they were hiding. At the time of her execution, Wiktoria Ulma was eight months pregnant; her oldest daughter was eight years old. A museum named after the Ulma family was opened on March 17, 2016, in Markowa, southern Poland.


In 1995, Wiktoria and Jozef Ulma were awarded posthumous Righteous Among the Nations titles from Israel's Yad Vashem Institute. The Righteous Among the Nations medals are awarded by the Jerusalem-based Yad Vashem Institute to individuals and families who risked their own lives and the lives of their loved ones to rescue Jews from the Holocaust.


During World War Two Poland was the only German-occupied country in Europe where aiding Jews was punishable by death. (PAP)

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