Exhibition "Samaritans of Markowa. The Ulm family - Poles murdered by the Nazis for helping Jews" - Munich, 11 - 13 February

On 11 February 2011 at 6 pm in St. Joseph Church in Munich an exhibition "Samaritans of Markowa. The Ulm family - Poles murdered by the Nazis for helping Jews” was opened with the participation of Dr. Franciszek Gryciuk, the President of the Institute of National Remembrance. The exhibition was displayed from 11 until 13 February.

Samaritans of Markowa. The Ulm family - Poles murdered by the Nazis for helping Jews.

(Exhibition organized by the Institute of National Remembrance, the Central Agricultural Library, National Centre for Culture and the Museum of the History of the Polish Peasant Movement)

During World War II, on 24 March 1944, the German police shot the Ulm family and two Jewish families - the Szalls and Goldmans.

Józef and Wiktoria Ulm lived in Markowa, a village about 300 km away from Warsaw. Joseph was a farmer, also interested in photography, gardening, silkworm breeding, machinery construction. He was also active in the youth and cooperative movements. Wiktoria took care of home and children: Staś, Basia, Władzio, Franuś, Antoś, Marysia.

When World War II broke out it was clear that first the Nazis planned to exterminate the entire Jewish community. Most of them perished in concentration camps in 1942. Poles attitude towards Jews varied. However, with the help of the Underground Polish State, Catholic priests, religious orders and ordinary citizens tens of thousands of Jews were rescued.

In Markowa large part of the local Jewish community was murdered on the spot. Some escaped and hid in peasants’ homes. 25 Jews were hiding in 6 huts. Two families - Szalls and Goldmans - were hidden by the Ulms. It was great heroism. In occupied Poland, in contrast to Western Europe, helping Jews was punishable with death.

Punitive expedition of the German police appeared in Markowa on 24 March 1944. All household members, including the hidden Jews were shot.

In 1995 Józef and Wiktoria were included to the Righteous Among the Nations. In 2003 the Catholic Church began the beatification process of the Ulm family. In 2004 a monument was unveiled. Also a museum devoted to Poles saving Jews is under construction in Markowa.

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