The Exhibition "They Risked Their Lives..." in Leipzig

Mateusz Szczepaniak, 26th June 2015
Our exhibition "They Risked Their Lives - Poles Who Saved Jews During the Holocaust" has opened in Leipzig as part of that city's "Shalom!" Jewish Week. The venue is the newly-constructed St.Trinitatis Roman Catholic church located in the city centre. The exhibition showing has been organized in cooperation with the Leipzig branch of the Polish Institute in Berlin.

The exhibition was created by the POLIN Museum in 2013, in partnership with the Polish Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Since that time, it has had numerous showings abroad in places such as Paris, Madrid, Moscow, Vilnius, Tallinn, Dusseldorf and Havana. It has been translated into five languages - English, Spanish, German, Russian and Lithuanian.

During the Leipzig event, Beata Chomątowska-Szałamacha accompanied the exhibition and invited guests to visit the POLIN Museum in Warsaw.

Bernd Karwen, who spoke on behalf of the Polish Institute in Berlin, drew guests' attention to the recent 25th anniversary of the renewal of diplomatic relations between Poland and Israel. He also mentioned two Poles who hold a special place in Leipzig memory - Jan Karski and Feliks Chiczewski, the Polish Consul General who, in January 1938, helped more than 1,000 Jews - Polish citizens experiencing persecution in Leipzig.

Leipzig Rabbi Zsolt Balla spoke of his own family history. They survived the Holocaust thanks to the Righteous Raoul Wallenberg who saved Jews in Hungary.

The Exhibition "They Risked Their Lives..." tells the stories of the Righteous Among the Nations - Poles who risked their lives, and the lives of their families, to help Jews facing persecution. The Exhibition shows the fates of the rescuers and those who were rescued in the historical context of occupied Poland, describing the extent and circumstances under which aid was provided. It highlights what motivated the Righteous to do what they did.