Polish Memorial to 'Righteous' Gentiles Set for Warsaw Ghetto — Despite Objection

Jews Say Other Spot Would Be Better

Remembering: A new monument to so-called righteous gentiles will rise near the museum of Jewish history in Warsaw.
getty images
Remembering: A new monument to so-called righteous gentiles will rise near the museum of Jewish history in Warsaw.

By JTA

Published November 18, 2013.
  • Print
  • Share Share

A monument commemorating Poles who rescued Jews during the Holocaust will be constructed near the Museum of the History of Polish Jews.

The monument construction committee made the announcement on Friday. The monument construction is scheduled to be completed in fall 2014.

The committee was initiated by Polish-Jewish businessman and philanthropist Sigmund Rolat.

“A monument commemorating Poles who saved Jews during the Nazi occupation was a dream of mine for many years. I believe that it should not be funded either by the Polish state, nor any Polish city. It should be the initiative of and with the money contributed by the Jewish communities,” said Rolat, who is a resident of the United States, during Friday’s news conference in Warsaw.

Scholars from the Polish Centre for Holocaust Research have objected to constructing the monument on the site of the former Warsaw Ghetto, which is where the museum is located.

“Placing the Monument of the Righteous in the heart of the ghetto, in a way is in opposition to the Museum of the History of Polish Jews, will be the triumph of national complacency and this is how it will be perceived around the world. There is no lack of space for monuments for the Righteous all over Poland, but the Warsaw Ghetto area should remain an intact sanctuary of the memory of the murdered Jews,” they said in a statement

Representatives of the Polish-Jewish community also questioned the placement of the monument. ”The monument should, on the one hand, express the gratitude of the rescued Jews, while on the other the appreciation of the Polish Republic for those who were noble enough to oppose the Germans and their collaborators. Should this kind of monument stand in the Warsaw Ghetto, among many others, created at different times?” representatives of Polish-Jewish community - Elzbieta Magenheim, Jan Spiewak, Piotr Wislicki and Piotr Kadlcik – said in a statement.

The committee is composed of 27 people from different countries, among them Adam Rotfeld, a former Polish foreign minister; Polish Chief Rabbi Michael Schudrich; Shevach Weiss, former Israeli ambassador to Poland; and Samuel Wilenberg, a survivor of Treblinka.

In early November another plan was announced to build a different monument to Poles who rescued Jews during World War II. It will be built next year near the Church of All Saints at Grzybowski Square in Warsaw and is financed by the Warsaw city office and the Council for the Protection of Struggle and Martyrdom.

Read more: http://www.jta.org/2013/11/18/news-opinion/world/monument-to-polish-righteous-gentiles-sited-in-former-ghetto#ixzz2kzvbsa2l


The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.





Find us on Facebook!
  • The sign reads: “Dogs are allowed in this establishment but Zionists are not under any circumstances.”
  • Is Twitter Israel's new worst enemy?
  • More than 50 former Israeli soldiers have refused to serve in the current ground operation in #Gaza.
  • "My wife and I are both half-Jewish. Both of us very much felt and feel American first and Jewish second. We are currently debating whether we should send our daughter to a Jewish pre-K and kindergarten program or to a public one. Pros? Give her a Jewish community and identity that she could build on throughout her life. Cons? Costs a lot of money; She will enter school with the idea that being Jewish makes her different somehow instead of something that you do after or in addition to regular school. Maybe a Shabbat sing-along would be enough?"
  • Undeterred by the conflict, 24 Jews participated in the first ever Jewish National Fund— JDate singles trip to Israel. Translation: Jews age 30 to 45 travelled to Israel to get it on in the sun, with a side of hummus.
  • "It pains and shocks me to say this, but here goes: My father was right all along. He always told me, as I spouted liberal talking points at the Shabbos table and challenged his hawkish views on Israel and the Palestinians to his unending chagrin, that I would one day change my tune." Have you had a similar experience?
  • "'What’s this, mommy?' she asked, while pulling at the purple sleeve to unwrap this mysterious little gift mom keeps hidden in the inside pocket of her bag. Oh boy, how do I answer?"
  • "I fear that we are witnessing the end of politics in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. I see no possibility for resolution right now. I look into the future and see only a void." What do you think?
  • Not a gazillionaire? Take the "poor door."
  • "We will do what we must to protect our people. We have that right. We are not less deserving of life and quiet than anyone else. No more apologies."
  • "Woody Allen should have quit while he was ahead." Ezra Glinter's review of "Magic in the Moonlight": http://jd.fo/f4Q1Q
  • Jon Stewart responds to his critics: “Look, obviously there are many strong opinions on this. But just merely mentioning Israel or questioning in any way the effectiveness or humanity of Israel’s policies is not the same thing as being pro-Hamas.”
  • "My bat mitzvah party took place in our living room. There were only a few Jewish kids there, and only one from my Sunday school class. She sat in the corner, wearing the right clothes, asking her mom when they could go." The latest in our Promised Lands series — what state should we visit next?
  • Former Israeli National Security Advisor Yaakov Amidror: “A cease-fire will mean that anytime Hamas wants to fight it can. Occupation of Gaza will bring longer-term quiet, but the price will be very high.” What do you think?
  • Should couples sign a pre-pregnancy contract, outlining how caring for the infant will be equally divided between the two parties involved? Just think of it as a ketubah for expectant parents:
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.