IPN delegation tells the story of the „Żegota” Council for Aid to Jews, Ottawa 4 December

On 4 December 2018 we celebrate the 76th anniversary of the founding of the “Żegota” Council for Aid to Jews with the Government Delegation for Poland. This specialized institution of the Polish Underground State was involved in helping Jews in ghettos, as well as those hiding on the "Aryan side". At the risk of their own lives, civilian conspirators helped at least 12,000 people.


On this occasion,, at the invitation of the Embassy of the Republic of Poland in Ottawa and the Slavic Research Group at the University of Ottawa,  the "Poles rescuing Jews during the Second World War" exhibition prepared by the Institute of National Remembrance will be opened at the university. The boards with archival photographs and documents show the kinds and circumstances of help provided by Poles to the Jewish population. Organized, as in the case of “Zegota”, as well as individual help is presented, both within the occupied country and outside its borders. The exhibition documents the full range of activities of Poles who, at the risk of their lives, saved Jews during the Holocaust. Based on selected examples, people reprimanded for such activity, post-war contacts of survivors with their saviours, and the fate of Jewish children rescued by Poles were also presented. The ceremonial inauguration of the exhibition took place in February 2016 in the Sejm of the Republic of Poland.

The exhibition in Ottawa will be open to visitors for the following week. In addition, as part of the event, Tomasz Roguski (Branch Historical Research Office of the IPN in Warsaw) will give an open lecture entitled "Polish Rescuers of Jews during the Holocaust".

The ceremony will be attended by the IPN delegation composed of the above-mentioned Tomasz Roguski, Dr. Jerzy Bednarek (Deputy Director of the Historical Research Office of the IPN), Dr. Waldemar Brenda (Deputy Director of the National Education Office of the IPN) and Dr. Alicja Gontarek (Historical Research Office of the IPN). IPN representatives will remain at the disposal of the guests taking part in the inauguration of the exhibition, and will discuss the conditions for further scientific and educational cooperation between the Institute and the Slavic Research Group

On this occasion it is worth recalling that on 1 December 2017 the exhibition of the IPN entitled "Żegota" - Council for Aid to Jews " was shown for the first time. Its authors are Dr Marcin Urynowicz and Dr Paweł Rokicki (IPN). The exhibition presents the creation and operation of "Żegota", its most prominent activists and the profiles of some of its aid recipients. In 2018, the exhibition was shown is such places as the Sejm of the Republic of Poland, the Ulma Family Museum in Markowa, Lublin, Katowice, Kraków and Poznań, as well as abroad: in the Seimas of the Republic of Lithuania, in the Polish Consulate General in New York and in the Holocaust Museum in Seredi, Slovakia.

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