Polish rescuers of Jews during Holocaust honored for ‘true heroism’


(JTA) — Thirty Polish rescuers of Jews living in Warsaw during the Holocaust were honored by a foundation that assists righteous gentiles.

The rescuers who met Sunday at the POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jewry in Warsaw range in age from the late 80s to 101, according to the Jewish Foundation for the Righteous.

Foreign diplomats, religious leaders and community leaders were on hand to recognize the heroism of rescuers deemed Righteous Among the Nations by the Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial in Jerusalem.

“For the State of Israel, as Jews and as human beings, it is our privilege to honor and remember the true heroism these righteous emulate,” Ruth Cohen-Dar, deputy ambassador of Israel to Poland, said at the event. “They risked not only their lives but the lives of their families to extend a helping hand to their Jewish neighbors in need. They serve as a moral compass and a beacon of hope in our society.”

Stanlee Stahl, the foundation’s executive vice president, called the rescuers “heroic people of exceptional character who risked their lives and often the lives of their families.”

The Jewish Foundation for the Righteous provides monthly financial assistance to more than 400 elderly and needy righteous gentiles living in 20 countries, and sponsors a Holocaust teacher education program. This year, the foundation will provide about $600,000 to Polish rescuers.

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