50 Polish Righteous Cited as 'Lights in Darkness'

U.S. Ambassador Honors Non-Jewish Holocaust Rescuers


By JTA

Published July 16, 2014.
  • Print
  • Share Share

U.S. Ambassador to Poland Stephen Mull called 50 Holocaust-era rescuers of Jews “a light in the darkness” at a Warsaw reception in their honor.

The reception at Warsaw’s Marriott Hotel was hosted by the New York-based Jewish Foundation for the Righteous, which provides material assistance to hundreds of people who aided Jews during the war.

“You knew that the Hitlerites killed people – sometimes entire families – for aiding Jews during the German occupation of Poland,” Mull reflected, “but at the same time you decided to help your Jewish brothers and sisters.”

The title of Righteous Among the Nations is bestowed by Israel’s Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial authority to non-Jews who risked their lives to save Jews from the Nazi genocide.

Leszek Mikolajkow, one of the Righteous who attended Sunday’s meeting, said that he was “slightly embarrassed” by the ceremony, although he acknowledged that he understood the need for such events, the PAP news agency reported.

“We had to save them, it was just a reflex,” he said. Poland is home to the world’s highest number of Righteous Gentiles at 6,454, followed by 5,351 in the Netherlands and 3,760 in France.

In 2013, the Jewish Foundation for the Righteous distributed approximately $1.7 million to some 675 needy rescuers living in 21 countries.

Among the rescuers at the reception in Warsaw was Anna Stupnicka, who at the age of 12 helped her mother smuggle 11-year-old Liliana Adler out of the Warsaw Ghetto.

The non-Jewish mother and daughter had entered the area in 1941 to give out food and books in defiance of orders by the Nazi occupation force.


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!
  • 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:
  • Many #Israelis can't make it to bomb shelters in time. One of them is Amos Oz.
  • 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.