Polish Parliament Makes Partisan Who Warned of Holocaust Person of the Year
Poland’s parliament named 2014 the Year of Jan Karski, honoring the man who alerted the allies about the Holocaust and sought their intervention.
Last week’s unanimous vote in the Sejm marked the centennial of the birth of Karski.
Karski, not Jewish and born in Lodz in 1914, was a courier for the Polish underground resistance during World War II.
He infiltrated the Warsaw Ghetto and the Izbica transit camp. He was among the first to relay first-hand news of the Holocaust to the West.
Karski appealed for intervention to British Foreign Secretary Anthony Eden and later to President Franklin Roosevelt, without success. His 1944 book, The Story of a Secret State, became a best-seller.
Karski remained in the United States after the war and became a professor at Georgetown University. Yad Vashem named him a Righteous Among Nations in 1982, and Israel made him an honorary citizen in 1994. He died in 2000.
President Bronislaw Komorowski will be honorary patron of the events, which will include international conferences, new editions of Karski’s work, scholarships and educational programs.