Polish righteous gentile donates memorabilia to Warsaw Jewish museum

(JTA) – Former Polish foreign minister Wladyslaw Bartoszewski, who was imprisoned at Auschwitz and recognized by Yad Vashem as a righteous gentile, donated memorabilia to the new Jewish museum in Warsaw.

Bartoszewski, 91, presented his donations to the Museum of the History of Polish Jews in Warsaw at a ceremony on Wednesday.

He was a member of the underground Żegota Polish Council to Aid Jews during the Holocaust. In recent years he twice served as foreign minister and has held other senior positions.

The museum said the memorabilia include his Righteous Among the Nations medal, which he received in 1966 for saving Jews during World War II; a certificate of his planting of a tree in honor of Żegota at Yad Vashem; his honorary citizenship of the State of Israel; the Elie Wiesel Award, which he received this year from the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington; an original ring made in the Litzmannstadt (Lodz) Ghetto; and books and historical documents from the WWII era.

“One never knows what will and what will not pay off in life, but one always knows what is worth doing,” he said during the ceremony, recalling his Zegota experience.

The donation coincides with the museum’s temporary exhibition “Biographies of Things: Gifts in the Collection of the Museum of the History of Polish Jews,” which will open on Oct. 18.

The museum building opened in April without its permanent core exhibition. The museum announced this month that the core exhibition will be ready in June, though its official opening will take place at a later date.

 

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