About the Righteous
The Righteous Among the Nations are those individuals who selflessly provided help to Jews during World War II as they faced extermination at the hands of the Nazi German authorities. “Whoever saves one life, saves the world entire” – this quote from the Talmud is inscribed on the medals which are awarded to the Righteous.
Who are the Righteous?
The Righteous Among the Nations are non-Jews who selflessly provided help to Jews during World War II.
The Yad Vashem Institute
The Yad Vashem Institute in Jerusalem decides who is to be awarded the title of "Righteous Among the Nations".
Jews in hiding
In 1940, Germans began establishing ghettos – sealed-off districts for the Jewish population – in occupied Poland. In 1942, they began a process of their liquidation and the mass deportation of Jews to death camps. The only way to survive was to go into hiding.
Irena Sendler is one of the best known Polish Righteous Among the Nations. She was granted this title for her honourable deeds during WW2—active in the underground and in the "Żegota" Council to Aid Jews, Irena Sendler was a mastermind behind the action to rescue Jewish children from the Warsaw ghetto. Together with a group of female associates she managed to save the lives of several hundred children. To find out more, read her biography.
Authorities about the Righteous
We invite you to read articles dedicated to the Righteous Among the Nations, written by such authorities as Władysław Bartoszewski, Prof. Jacek Leociak, Prof. Jan Grabowski, Konstanty Gebert and Rabbi Michael Schudrich.
Diplomats Helping Jews
During World War II, many ambassadors, consuls and employees of diplomatic missions used their special position, immunity and available resources to actively assist persecuted Jews – largely refugees from occupied Poland.
Righteous of the World
Read more about stories of rescue to Jews in Belgium, Denmark, France, the Netherlands, Germany and Ukraine, together with the historical context of the German occupation in these countries.
The Council to Aid Jews "Żegota"
Read more about the establishment of the Council, its members and structure, its activities, its remembrance in Poland and Israel as well as memorabilia from the collection of POLIN Museum.
The Righteous in Auschwitz
Here, you can read the stories of prisoners of the Auschwitz concentration and death camp who aided Jews within the camp itself
The Death Penalty for Helping Jews
The number of Poles, rescuing Jews during the Holocaust and who were affected by the worst of German repression, has not, until now, been precisely determined. Read stories of people who lost their lives.