Pol­ish pres­i­dent seeks to ded­i­cate a day de­voted to Righ­teous Gen­tiles

Duda hon­ors former mem­bers of Ze­gota, the Pol­ish Coun­cil to Aid Jews, which saved many dur­ing the Holo­caust

Jerusalem Post - - NEWS - • By TAMARA ZIEVE (Wiki­me­dia Com­mons)

Pres­i­dent of Poland An­drzej Duda an­nounced an ini­tia­tive to des­ig­nate March 17 as an an­nual na­tional day of re­mem­brance for Poles who saved Jews dur­ing World War II.

Duda an­nounced that he would pro­pose a bill pro­mot­ing the ini­tia­tive, dur­ing an event on Wed­nes­day held at the Pres­i­den­tial Palace in War­saw to mark the 75th an­niver­sary of the in­au­gu­ra­tion of Ze­gota, the Pol­ish Coun­cil to Aid Jews, an un­der­ground re­sis­tance group ac­tive in Ger­man-oc­cu­pied Poland be­tween 1942 and 1945.

Dur­ing the event, Duda awarded medals to sev­eral mem­bers of the or­ga­ni­za­tion who are still alive. They in­cluded: Leszczyn­ski Stanis­law, 95, who saved 15 Jews in Siedlce; Wik­tor Ro­gozin­ski, 94, who saved five Jews in Sos­nowiec and who lost three broth­ers at the hands of the Nazis; Mar­i­anna Krasnodeb­ska, 91, who saved six Jews by sup­ply­ing them food in the War­saw Ghetto; head of the as­so­ci­a­tion of the Pol­ish Righ­teous Anna Bando, 88, who saved four Jews in Zoli­borz; and Jozef Walaszczyk, 97, who saved the lives of 40 Jews in War­saw.

Jonny Daniels, CEO of Holo­caust re­mem­brance or­ga­ni­za­tion From the Depths, was a guest at the event. He told The Jerusalem Post that some of the sto­ries of these Righ­teous Gen­tiles – nonJews who risked their lives to save Jews – have never been recorded.

Last month his team launched a project called Silent Heroes to film Righ­teous Gen­tiles telling their sto­ries, a project sup­ported by a grant from the Bri­tish gov­ern­ment.

“It re­ally is a race against time,” Daniels re­marked, in ref­er­ence to the age of the sav­iors.

AN­DRZEJ DUDA

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