Names of 2017 Righteous to be Announced on 6th March 2017

Redakcja, 20th February 2017
The names of those honoured as the 2017 Righteous will be announced by the Garden of the Righteous Committee on the European Day of the Righteous. A gala event will take place at POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews (ul. Anielewicza 6) at 7:00 pm. The program's concert will feature the works of Astor Piazollego performed by Rossario Mastroserio (piano), Izabela Kopeć (singer) and Gliberto Pereyra (bandoneon). In the spring, trees will be planted in the Warsaw Garden of the Righteous in honour of those named as the 2017 Righteous.

In May 2012, at the initiative of the Italian Committee of the Garden of the Righteous (GARIWO), the European Parliament declared a "European Day of the Righteous". The date, the 6th March, is not coincidental. It is the date of death of Mosze Bejski, the Polish-born initiator of the Garden of the Righteous in Jerusalem, as well as the co-author of the title name of Righteous Among the Nations.

The concept of "The Righteous", which was first used by the Yad vashem Memorial, now has a meaning which is recognised universally. This title serves to remember not only those recognised by Yad Vashem as "Righteous", but also those who, in the face of totalitarianism and genocide, had the courage to defend human dignity, heloing victims or stepping up to defend the truth.

In 2014, at the initiative of the GARIWO Foundation and the History Meeting House, with the support of the Mayor of the Wola District, the first Polish Garden of the Righteous was opened. Those honoured at that time were Jan Karski, Marek Edelman, Tadeusz Mazowiecki, Anna Politkowska, Magdalena Grodzka-Gużkowska and Antonia Locetelli. Those honoured in later years included Petro Hryhorenko, Nelson Mandela, Hasan Mazhar, Władysław Bartoszewski, Witold Pilecki and Father Jan Zieja.

The title of "Righteous" can only be awarded posthumously. The choice of three people (from a list of nominees announced each year) is made by the Garden of the Righteous Committee, which comprises some of the most outstanding people in the fields of education, politics and culture.

Gala organisers: History Meeting House, POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews, the Italian Institute of Culture, with partners Fundacja Służby Rzeczpospolitej, the Warsaw Centre for Educational-Social and Teaching Innovationand, Jan Karski Educational Foundation and the Diuna Translation Bureau.

Media Contact:

Anna Ziarkowska, Manager DSH Education Department, Garden of the Righteous Committee Secretary, tel. 604 430 729, e-mail: a.ziarkowska@dsh.waw.pl

Małgorzata Purzyńska, Communication Department, History Meeting House, tel. 601 502 609, e-mail: m.purzynska@dsh.waw.pl