The project's History and Team
Since 2007, several dozen people – researchers, historians, educators and translators – have been involved in the implementation The Polish Righteous – Recalling Forgotten History project.
The History of the Project
The Polish Righteous – Recalling Forgotten History project was launched in 2007 at the initiative of Ewa Junczyk-Ziomecka and Ewa Wierzyńska, Deputy Directors of the Museum of the History of Polish Jews. It was initiated by the Association of the Jewish Historical Institute and its achievements – interviews with witnesses to history, articles and photographs, were posted onto the www.sprawiedliwi.org.pl website.
The project was granted an honorary patronage of the then President of the Republic of Poland Lech Kaczyński, who initiated the process of awarding state decorations to Poles who had rescued Jews – something which the successive presidents of Poland have continued. Presentation ceremonies were accompanied by publications based on our project’s resources.
In 2012, our website, www.sprawiedliwi.org.pl, together with all its resources, was handed over to POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews, founded at the initiative of the Association of the Jewish Historical Institute, in partnership with the Polish Ministry of Culture and National Heritage and the City of Warsaw. Since then, the project has continued to expand and develop. The Polish Righteous website along with the Virtual Shtetl are the two most important internet projects of POLIN Museum. Through them, the Museum spreads knowledge about the history of Polish Jews and Polish-Jewish relations. They provide access to POLIN digital collections – studies, oral histories, photographs, films as well as educational material.
Since 2007, several dozen people – researchers, historians educators and translators – have been involved in the implementation of The Polish Righteous – Recalling Forgotten History project. It was funded by the Polish Ministry of Culture and National Heritage, the Norwegian and EOG Funds, the PKN Orlen company, the National Development Bank [BGK], as well as by various private donors including Tomek Ulatowski and Carmit and Ygal Ozechov.
At various times, the project was coordinated by Łucja Koch, Marta Pietrzykowska, Dr Małgorzata Stolarska-Fronia, Karolina Dzięciołowska and, since 2013, by Klara Jackl. Among other people involved in the project were Zuzanna Benesz-Goldfinger, Magdalena Dopieralska, Anna Dybała, Marcin Dziurdzik, Aneta Jasionek, Joanna Król, Magdalena Leszczyńska, Ewa Opawska, Alicja Plachówna-Vasilevska, Przemysław Szałkowski, Zuzanna Schnepf-Kołacz, Anna Zawadzka and Maria Zawadzka. Authors of studies published on the website and their academic consultants include several historians and reporters, among them being Dr Natalia Aleksiun, Dr Aleksandra Bańkowska, Dr Martyna Grądzka-Rejak, Prof. Jacek Leociak, Prof. Dariusz Libionka, Prof. Antoni Sułek, Teresa Torańska and Dr Marcin Urynowicz.
Klara Jackl: project coordinator and editor of the Polish Righteous website at POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews. Klara is a graduate of the Institute of Polish Culture, of Museum Studies at the University of Warsaw and of the Central and Eastern European Studies program at Charles University in Prague. She has co-authored exhibitions dedicated to the stories of rescue of Jews during the Holocaust, among them: They Risked their Lives – Poles who Saved Jews During the Holocaust, Between Life and Death – Stories of Rescue During the Holocaust as well as The Right Address – Hiding Jews in Occupied Warsaw, awarded an Honourable Mention at the 2015 Sybilla Museum Event of the Year.
Mateusz Szczepaniak: editor of the Polish Righteous website at POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews. Mateusz is a graduate of the Institute of History at the University of Warsaw, majoring in History (specialization: Social History of the 19th and 20th Centuries) and Jewish Studies (specialization: Yiddish Literature, Language & Culture). Moreover, he was a chairman of the Jewish Studies Student Association at the University of Warsaw in 2017–2020. Mateusz worked at the virtual exhibition The Right Address – Hiding Jews in Occupied Warsaw, awarded an Honourable Mention at the 2015 Sybilla Museum Event of the Year.
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We continue to work together with historians, educators and reporters who prepare and consult on the texts to be published on the website. We currently cooperate with Karolina Dzięciołowska, Dr Aleksandra Namysło and Dr Krzysztof Persak.
In the translation of texts into English, we are supported by our long-serving volunteer Andrew Rajcher, who lives in Australia. Our activities in Israel are supported by long-serving volunteer Janina Goldhar. In 2016, we bade farewell to Jadwiga Rytlowa, an invaluable volunteer who, together with Janina Goldhar, collected many stories of help, mainly directly from the Holocaust survivors.