Out of the shadow, Polish rescuers of Jews celebrate hero’s honor

16.07.2012                      26.Tammus. 5772

Jüdische Welt:

Out of the shadow, Polish rescuers of Jews celebrate hero's honor

A moving gathering of dozens of rescuers recognized as 'Righteous Among the Nations' in Warsaw shows just how much has changed in Poland in the 23 years since communism fell.

For decades, nobody really talked about them: the thousands of Poles, mostly Roman Catholics, who risked their lives during World War II to save Jewish friends, neighbors and even strangers.
Those discovered by the Germans were executed quickly, often with their entire families. And then, under communism, there was silence. The Jewish survivors would send letters and gifts in gratitude. But the Polish state ignored them. The rescuers themselves kept quiet, out of modesty, or shame or fear of anti-Semitism. Sometimes they worried gift packages from the West would arise the jealousy of neighbors in a period of economic deprivation….