Anna Stupnicka Bando was born on 23 February 1929 in Końskie in the Świętokrzyskie region. Her mother was a teacher. When the war broke out, 11-year-old Anna, together with her mother and grandmother, lived in Warsaw's Żoliborz district., where Janina Stupnicka dealt with the administration of tenement houses and residence registers. Her activities also involved visiting residential premises in the ghetto area. Janina used her pass, which entitled her to enter and leave the ghetto. Together with her daughter Anna, they smuggled food for the ghetto inhabitants.
In 1941, Stupnicka and her daughter entered the ghetto, and then they smuggled 11-year-old Lilka Alter out of the ghetto. The girl was taken in, and lived with them in their apartment. Janina Stupnicka and Anna Stupnicka also aided Ryszard Grynberg and Mikołaj Borenstein. After the war, they remained in contact with the Jews they had saved. Anna Stupnicka became a neurologist. She was also active in commemorating Poles who saved Jews during German occupation.
The Polish Association of Righteous Among the Nations, operating since 1985, was established at the initiative of people awarded with a "Righteous Among the Nations" medal and diploma for saving Jews during World War II.
For 35 years, the Polish Association of Righteous Among the Nations has been taking great care to preserve the memory of German occupation in Poland, the Holocaust and people who, without expecting payment and risking the lives of their relatives as well as their own, saved their fellow citizens of Jewish descent.
The death penalty for such help was possible only in Poland. At least 30,000 Jews were saved thanks to Polish citizens. The picture of the tragedy is completed by the fact that approx. 2,500 rescuers sacrificed their lives presenting a deeply humanistic attitude. Of all those honored with the title of the Righteous Among the Nations, Poles are the most numerous. By 1 January 2019, the Yad Vashem Institute has distinguished 27,362 heroes, including 6,922 Poles.
The Polish Association of Righteous Among the Nations undertakes a number of initiatives in order to commemorate the heroic attitudes of Poles who, in an act of interpersonal solidarity, saved their Jewish neighbors from the extermination planned and carried out by the German occupiers. Upon the initiative of the Polish Association of Righteous Among the Nations, every year since 2016, a nationwide congress of the Righteous has been held. Apart from the Polish Righteous and their families, schoolchildren also take part in the events; it is a living history lesson for them. Thanks to the efforts of the association, the National Day of Remembrance of Poles Saving Jews under German Occupation was established on 24 March. This day has been celebrated since 2018.
The Polish Righteous also take part in national and international scientific sessions related to the Holocaust, such as the International Conference titled "Polish-Jewish Heritage of the Republic of Poland. Challenges of Memory and Education”. The involvement of the Polish Righteous in educating the young generation is especially worthy of recognition. The aim is to actively involve young people. During educational meetings with young people and teachers, they talk about the reality of war and the Holocaust. They share their experiences, believing that it is extremely important, as the fate of many who saved and who were saved is still unknown. Some of them still hide their history for fear of the reaction of the society. Others did not have time to share the ordeal of World War II with their relatives.
Members of the Association actively participate in anniversary celebrations, Polish and Jewish holidays, commemorating places of martyrdom of Jews. The Association actively cooperates with, among others, the Institute of National Remembrance, the Embassy of Israel in Poland, the Jewish Historical Institute, the Yad Vashem Institute for the Remembrance of Holocaust Martyrs and Heroes in Jerusalem, the Museum of the History of Polish Jews, the Association of the Children of the Holocaust, the Social and Cultural Community of Jews Society in Poland, the Jewish Religious Community, the SHALOM Foundation.