On September 10, an exhibition entitled "Death for Humanity" was unveiled at St. Eugenia Catholic Parish in Stockholm in order to popularize the beatification of Józef and Wiktoria Ulma and their seven children. Numerous guests who attended the event in Stockholm had the opportunity to see an IPN documentary about the Ulma family followed by a lecture of Prof. Marek Wierzbicki from the IPN Historical Research Office and a debate led by Artur Szulc. Prof. Wierzbicki described a broad context of the situation of Poland during World War II focusing on the Holocaust and the attitudes of Poles who faced the extermination of Jews.
Many of them helped Jews in various forms and sometimes were severely punished by the German police for that manifestation of mercy. The Ulma family is a symbol of courageous attitudes of thousands of Poles who risked their lives to save their Jewish neighbors. Many other sympathized with them but were too afraid of potential penalties to break the existing regulations. Others were focused on their own plight and there were even some individuals who became involved in criminal activities against the persecuted Jews. It is hard to establish the right proportions among all those attitudes of Polish citizens but one needs to bear in mind that in the realities of war and occupation it may take one wicked person in a village to denounce dozens of others while saving one Jew required cooperation of many who were risking their lives (…) However, in the complex reality of wartime – when everybody fought for survival and relatively few cared about their neighbors – the size of the help provided for Jews by Poles looks impressive.
The event was organized by the Polish Institute in Stockholm and the Polish Embassy in cooperation with the Institute of National Remembrance and the local Catholic Forum.
The exhibition will be on display until 17 September at St. Eugenia Catholic Parish in Stockholm.