Bełżec Junior High School Named After Righteous

Mateusz Szczepaniak, 2nd September 2015
During a ceremony, on 1st September 2015, marking the beginning of the new school year, a Junior High School in Bełżec was named after Righteous Among the Nations - the third school in Poland to do this.

The entire school community of the Bełżec Public Junior High School took part in the naming ceremony - teachers, students and parents. The speakers included Bełżec Wójt Andrzej Adamek, school Principal Jan Zatorski, Ewa Koper from Bełżec Muncipal Memorial Museum, as well as Witold Lisowski, representing the Polish Association of Righteous Among the Nations, who stated that it was very emotional for him to know young people wanted to have such patronage.

In explaining the choice of patronage, school Principal Jan Zatorski said, "Tolerance, love of one's neighbour, sympathy and empathy are values which we promote, not just from today. We have even taken the decision to broaden the way we teach about the Holocaust and the history of camps".

The beginning of the school year, the naming of the school and the handing over of the school flag coincided with the offical opening of a new part of the school. To conclude the event, a plaque was unveiled honouring the Righteous among the Nations who were resident of Bełżec. Among the remembered were Julia Pępiak, Cecylia and Maciej Brogowski as well as an unknown woman who saved Henryk Zvi Luft from death in the Bełżec death camp. The plaque was unveiled by Maria Jurczak, daughter of the Brogowski couple.

The naming of the school was the result of a resolution by the School Council passed on 23rd June 2015 and which was then ratified by the Bełżec City Council. A complete list of schools named after the Righteous can be viewed HERE on our website.