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.

Yad Vashem medal in hand of Wacław Nowiński

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 née Krzyżanowska (1910–2008)

Irena Sendler

Irena Sendler is one of the best known Polish Righteous Among the Nations. She was a mastermind behind the action to rescue Jewish children from the Warsaw Ghetto.

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.

Chiune Sugihara (1900–1986)

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.

Rolf Alexander Syversen with his wife and son

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 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.