The German occupiers threatened with death those hiding Jews because they knew that Poles would oppose the Holocaust, wrote the President of the Republic of Poland Andrzej Duda in a text on the history of the Ulma family published in a special supplement to the weekend edition of the Chicago Tribune, published in nearly a million copies. The president emphasized that the history of the Ulmas should be known all over the world.
As the president wrote, the German occupation during World War II and the extermination of the Jews in Poland were exceptionally brutal due to Poland’s historical importance as a tolerant state and a refuge for Jews. As he emphasized, the name “Polin” itself meant “here you will rest”, and Warsaw was the second largest concentration of Jews in the entire world.
“The German occupation authorities therefore expected resistance to their criminal actions. Hence, they threatened death to anyone who even tried to provide any help to a hiding Jew in our lands. However, despite such a severe sanction, thousands of Polish Jews received support that saved their lives. They were helped to escape from the ghetto, hidden places were provided, food, money and false documents were provided,” Duda wrote.
As the president added, as a result, the fate of the Ulma family murdered by the Germans was shared by many other Poles, and Poles, numbering over seven thousand, constitute the largest group on the list of Righteous Among the Nations. He also expressed his pride that on Sunday, September 10, the Ulma family – the married couple of Wiktoria and Józef and their seven children – will be beatified by the Church.
“The significance of this event goes beyond the religious dimension. It will also be a tribute to heroes who embody the highest ideals of humanity. The story of their martyrdom – shocking and at the same time uplifting as an extraordinary testimony of love for one’s neighbor – should be known all over the world. Let him transform people’s hearts, let him be a model of openness and solidarity towards other people,” Duda appealed.
The president’s text was published in the “Dignity and Sanctity” supplement to the weekend edition of the “Chicago Tribune” newspaper as part of the “We Tell Poland to the World” project, carried out by the team of the Institute of New Media, publisher of the monthly opinion magazine “wszystkie most” in cooperation with the Polish National Foundation, Institute of National Remembrance, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Polish Press Agency. In addition to Duda’s article, there were also texts by the Minister of Culture, Piotr Gliński, on the memory of World War II and by the historian Prof. Wojciech Roszkowski on the validity of Polish efforts to obtain war reparations.
“We are pleased to partner with one of the oldest newspaper titles in the US, recently celebrating its 175th anniversary. +The Chicago Tribune+ is a title with a huge reputation, with 28 Pulitzer Prizes won by its journalists, with the Watergate scandal, with top-cl journalism, famous for its honesty and credibility. We have been cooperating for a long time, exchanging texts between editorial offices. It is also important for us that the daily is published in a city with such a strong Polish community. So I invite everyone from the Chicago Polonia to the kiosks in Chicago to buy texts from the Polish +Everything that is most important+, let’s tell Poland to the world together,” Eryk Mistewicz, president of the New Media Institute, told PAP. (PAP)