An Appeal by the Polish Association of the Righteous

Mateusz Szczepaniak / English translation: Andrew Rajcher, 26th February 2018
On 26th February 2018, representatives of the Polish Association of the Righteous Among the Nations met with Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki in order to present an appeal to governments, parliamentarians and to the people of Poland and Israel, in response to ongoing discussion regarding the Institute of National Remembrance legislation amendment – a Commission Prosecuting Crimes Against the Polish Nation. The Association's appeal was signed by fifty Righteous.

Those present at the meeting held in the Prime Minister's offices in Warsaw included the President of the Polish Association of the Righteous Among the Nations Anna Stupnicka-Bando, Acting Secretary Irena Senderska-Rzońca, Board member Tadeusz Stankiewicz, as well as members Witold Lisowski, Stanisława Śliwińska and Ryszard Zieliński. The appeal was presented to Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki and was also addressed to the Prime Minister of Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu, the Speaker of the Knesset Juli-Joel Edelstein and the Speaker of the Sejm Marek Kuchciński.

During the meeting, Prime Minister Morawiecki said, "I thank you very much for the appeal which you have directed to all people of goodwill, to work out the most acceptable, but also truth-based, solution".

The Israeli Ambassador to Poland expressed her thanks via Facebook, "We thank representatives of the Polish Association of the Righteous for today's visit to the Embassy and presenting this appeal frpom  Poles who rescued Jews". 


The content of the appeal is presented below:


Whoever saves one life - saves the world entire.

Mr. Benjamin Netanyahu, Prime Minister of Israel
Mr Mateusz Morawiecki, Prime Minister of the Republic of Poland
Mr Juli-Joel Edelstein, Speaker of the Knesset
Mr Marek Kuchciński, Speaker of the Sejm of the Republic of Poland

 

An appeal by those honoured by the Yad Vashem Memorial Institute in Jerusalem 
the Polish Righteous Among the Nations of the World
the the Governments and Parliaments of Israel and Poland
and to the Polish and Jewish peolple. 

 

We, the Righteous, the last surviving amongst 6,850 Polish Righteous Among the Nations of the World, appeal to the governments and parliaments of Israel and Poland to return to the road of dialogue and unity.

During the World War, we were witnesses to the extermination of the Jewish people and the murder of Poles by the Germans. Six million citizens of the Polish Republic were killed, of whom three million were Polish Jews. Despite enormous losses, the Polish nation endured, but the Polish Jewish community ceased to exist. In those terrible times, when within occupied Poland death could have resulted when providing any help to our Jewish fellow citizens, many decided to provide help nevertheless. For this act of solidarity, hundreds of Poles paid with their lives, testifying to the highest love of one's neighbour.

We ask that history not be written anew. The greatest tragedy in the history of both our peoples was written, once and for all, during that dark night of Nazi occupation, the victims of which we are all to this day.

Within all peoples, including ours, thefre were wicked people at that time. They acted on their own behalf, not in the name of the Polish state. However, they were Poles. We were afriad of them also.

However, as part of Adolf Hitler's criminal policy and on the orders of the German authorities, concentration camps and extermination camps were created on Polish territory and in the Third Reich – in Auschwitz-Birkenau, Sobibor, Bełżec, Treblinka, Mauthausen-Gusen, Gross-Rosen, Ravensbruck, etc. It was the Germans who destroyed the Warsaw Ghetto in the spring of 1943. A year later, they destroyed the whole of Warsaw, the capital of Poland, murdering around 180,000 Poles in the process.

We do not condone quarrelling between Jews and Poles. We urge both our two nations, united by nearly 1,000 years of common history, to build a covenant and a future in Poland, Europe, Israel and America, based on friendship, solidarity and truth.

We, the Righteous, carrying in our minds the truth about those times, ask everyone for empathy and prudence, for sensitivity in creating laws and for responsibility in media narrative, for honest and independent historical research - for only that will serve to explain what requires clarification, dialogue and sincerity .

Warsaw, 26th February 2018.

On behalf of the last surviving Polish Righteous:

Anna Stupnicka-Bando, Board Chairwoman, Polish Association of the Righteous Among the Nations
Józef Walaszczyk, Board Deputy Chairman, Polish Association of the Righteous Among the Nations
Irena Senderska-Rzońca, Acting Secretary, Polish Association of the Righteous Among the Nations
Tadeusz Stankiewicz, Board Member, Polish Association of the Righteous Among the Nations

Maria Augustyn, Krystyna Dańko, Teresa Dietrich, Alicja Drzał, Władysława Dudziak, Jadwiga Gowrych, Mirosława Gruszczyńska, Zofia Jadwiszczok, Maksymilian Jarosz, Łucja Jurczak, Stanisława Kac, Wanda Kolomijska, Krystyna Kowalska, Janusz Kowalski, Anna Koźmińska, Marianna Krasnodębska, Stefan Krusiński, Zofia Krzyżanowska, Anna Krzyżowska, Helena Kuśmierz, Anna Lewandowska, Witold Lisowski, Zbigniew Mańkowski, Janina Mazur, Andrzej Mikołajków, Leszek Mikołajków, Maria Nowak, Wacław Nowiński, Ireneusz Rajchowski, Lech Rościszewski, Janina Rościszewska-Krawczyk, Janina Różecka, Aurelia Rudyk, Zofia Siemieńska, Barbara Strzelecka, Alicja Szczepaniak-Schnepf, Bogdan Szymański, Anna Szymczyk, Stanisława Śliwińska, Helena Troszczyńska, Jadwiga Wolf, Krystyna Wiśniewska, Ryszard Witkowski, Ryszard Zieliński, Eugenia Złotko, Janina Zwolicka


Read a Statement by POLIN Museum Director Professor Dariusz Stola