"Żegota" Memorabilia

The collections of POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews contain memorabilia connected to the Council to Aid Jews "Żegota". Items have been donated to the Museum by other cultural institutions and by private individuals.

Extraordinary items in POLIN Museum's collection, documenting the Council's activities, include:

– the "Protest!” leaflet dated 11th August 1942 – donated by the National Library of Poland,
– part of the "Felicja” archive collection owned by Ossolineum, presented in the core exhibition of POLIN Museum,
– copies of documents from the Council to Aid Jews "Żegota” (originals are at the Warsaw Archive of New Records).

Valuable memorabilia have also been donated y individuals, whose lives have been connected to the activities of the Council:

Władysław Bartoszewski in 2013, he donated his Righteous Among the Nations medal, the certificate relating to the planting of the "Żegota" tree in the Garden of the Righteous in Jerusalem, the certificate of his Honorary Citizenship of the State of Israel, the false kennkarte and the false birth certificate of Leon Feiner (one of the "Żegota's" leaders who lived on the "Aryan side" as Wacław Wendyński), the confidential report by the Polish Embassy in the USSR to the Polish Government in London regarding help given to Polish citizens (in particular to Jews in the USSR in 1941-1943), his Elie Wiesel Medal (presented by the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington), an original commemorative ring produced in the Łódż ghetto, as well as books and historical documents from the period of World War II.

Janina Zgrzembska, daughter of Irena Sendler – in 2009 and 2013, donated her mother's memorabilia including her Righteous Among the Nations medal and certificate, the certificate of her Honrorary Citizenship of the State of Israel, a collection of her state decorations together with the documentation, the certificate of her Honorary Citizenship of the City of Otwock together with the key to the gates of the city, as well as books, letters and memorabilia which Irena Sendler had kept. from her youth, all her life.

Elżbieta Ficowska in 2015, on the 73rd anniversary of the establishment of the Council to Aid Jews "Żegota", she donated a copy of the silver teaspoon, connected to the story of her rescue. This teaspoon, engraved with her name and date of birth, was placed into the box inside of which she was carried out of the Warsaw ghetto.

 Karolina Dzięciołowska, December 2017 / English translation: Andrew Rajcher


Read more about the Council to Aid Jews "Żegota"

We present the stories of Council members, its structure, its activity methods,
memorials in Poland and Israel, as well as memorabilia from POLIN Museum collection.


Bibliography

Marek Arczyński, Wiesław Balcerak, Kryptonim „Żegota”. Z dziejów pomocy Żydom w Polsce 1939-1945, Warszawa 1979.
Anna Bikont, Sendlerowa. W ukryciu, Warszawa 2017.
Teresa Prekerowa, Konspiracyjna Rada Pomocy Żydom w Warszawie 1942-1945, Warszawa 1982.
Gunnar S. Paulsson, Utajone miasto. Żydzi po aryjskiej stronie Warszawy (1940-1945), Kraków 2007.
Ten jest z ojczyzny mojej. Polacy z pomocą Żydom 1939-1945, oprac. W. Bartoszewski, Z. Lewinówna, Warszawa 2007.
„Żegota”. Rada Pomocy Żydom 1942-1945. Wybór dokumentów, oprac. A. K. Kunert, Warszawa 2002.
„Żegota. Dokumenty 1942-1945”, oprac. M. Olczak, Warszawa 2017.