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Israel Honors Poles’ Wartime Heroism, Other Wartime Anniversaries Marked

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In a ceremony last week in the southern Polish town of Lancut, Israel honored 26 Poles with the Righteous Among the Nations Award in recognition of their efforts during World War II to save Jewish lives.

The ceremony coincided with the commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the liquidation of the Jewish ghetto in nearby Rzeszow in July 1942.

In a separate commemorative ceremony also held last week, a plaque was erected in memory of the German Count Klaus von Stauffenberg, who staged an abortive assassination attempt against Adolf Hitler on July 20, 1944.

The plaque was set up at the site of the attempted assassination, Hitler’s “Wolf’s Lair” general headquarters at Ketrzyn in northern Poland.

The plaque was unveiled in a nationally televised ceremony attended by representatives of the Polish and German governments. It was seen as a step toward improving relations between Poland and Germany.

The inscription on the plaque, which was designed by Polish sculptor Ewa Szczech-Siwicka, reads: “On this site there was a barrack where, on July 20, 1944, Count von Stauffenberg carried out an attack against Adolf Hitler. The count and numerous other Germans paid with their lives for their opposition to the Hitlerian dictatorship.”

Last week also marked the 50th anniversary of the first mass deportations from the Warsaw ghetto to Treblinka. A solemn concert was held here to commemorate the occasion.

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