Who are the Righteous?
The Righteous Among the Nations are non-Jews who selflessly provided help to Jews during World War II.
The title of Righteous Among the Nations
The title of Righteous is awarded by the State of Israel to people from all over the world for help they provided to Jews during the Holocaust. Nearly seven thousand Poles have received the title of the Righteous to date.
The number of Poles honoured with the Righteous title does not fully reflect the scale of the aid provided to Jews in Nazi-occupied Poland as many of the rescuers still remain unknown.
The Attitudes of Poles Towards Jews During the Holocaust
Poles, themselves victims of the terror inflicted by the German occupier, were eye-witnesses to the extermination of Jews during the Holocaust. Their humanity was put to the test.
Helping Jews during the Holocaust
The majority of Poles, absorbed by the hardship of their daily lives in a country under German occupation, remained passive in the face of the Holocaust. There were also those who showed hostility.
The Polish Association of the Righteous Among Nations
Members of the Association, which was founded in 1985, are Polish citizens who were awarded the title of Righteous Among the Nations and their descendants. The aim of the Association is to commemorate the Righteous.
“This is My Homeland…” by Władysław Bartoszewski and Zofia Lewinówna (1966): a critical reading
Published in 1966, this book by Władysław Bartoszewski and Zofia Lewinówna “Ten jest z ojczyzny mojej. Polacy z pomocą Żydom 1939–1945” [This is My Homeland. Poles Helping Jews 1939-1945] established a canonical version of the Polish narrative about saving Jews in occupied Poland.
“Protest!” by Zofia Kossak (1942)
“Protest!” is a founding text for Polish thinking about saving Jews. It was a response to the ongoing mass deportations of Jews from the Warsaw ghetto to the extermination camp in Treblinka.