A former Polish diplomat who sheltered Polish Jews from the Nazis at his consulate in Leipzig, Germany just before World War II was honored by Israel of special ceremonies at the Jewish Public Library here this week. Israeli Consul General Zvi Caspi conferred “special recognition” on Todeusz Brzezinski, now a resident of Canada, who was Poland’s Consul General in Leipzig during the 1930.
He is the father-of Zbigniew Brzezinski, President Carter’s National Security Advisor, who also lived in Canada as a young man. Caspi disclosed that his own father was one of the Jews who found asylum at Brzezinski’s consulate in presenting a citation to the elder Brzezinski “for his. courage and intellectual integrity,” Caspi said, ” Mr. Brzezinski opened the gates of the Polish Consulate in Leipzig to Jews of Polish citizenship residing in that town and took them under his protection, among them my own late father, Little did I dream that I, as a representative of the State of Israel, would express gratitude to this man for his courageous act.”
Caspi also conferred the “Righteous Gentile Award” on Mrs. Barbara Makuch who risked her life to save a Jewish child during the Nazi occupation of Poland. “The Jewish people,” he said, “will never be able to erase from their memories the dramatic events in the lives of those who survived the brutalities of the Nazi regime. We, the Jewish people, have coined the tenet of the sanctity of human life and this tenet is inscribed on the medal and documents which I present today to Mrs. Barbara Makuch who has risked her life in order to harbor a young Jewish child during the German occupation of Poland.”
Caspi concluded his remarks by expressing the ” hope that the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights will not be a mere paper and that the world will find ways and means to object against inhuman treatment whether of Jews or any other minorities in the Gulags or for the remnants of the Jewish community in Syria.”
The Archive of the Jewish Telegraphic Agency includes articles published from 1923 to 2008. Archive stories reflect the journalistic standards and practices of the time they were published.