Poland on March 24, 2018, observed the first National Day of Remembrance for Poles Rescuing Jews. The day marks the anniversary of the death of the servants of God the Ulma family (parents and their 7 children), a Polish family killed in 1944 by Nazis because of hiding eight Jews.
The tragic history of the Ulma family from Markowa is commemorated by The Ulma Family Museum of Poles Who Rescued Jews during the II World War, established in the town of Markowa two years ago. On the long list of Poles who, despite numerous threats, were strongly in favor of saving the Jewish population and stood in opposition to the occupants, were Roman Catholic bishops and diocesan administrators.
“Eleven out of thirteen bishops or administrators of the diocese in Poland who remained in their dioceses during the Holocaust were involved in saving the Jewish population. The attitude of the next two bishops is in the process of querying. In addition, one of the bishops who emigrated to England condemned the Nazi crimes against the Jewish population by Radio London” – says Fr. Paweł Rytel-Andrianik, spokesman of the Polish Bishops’ Conference.
Although there are no monographs about bishops saving Jews, the current research shows that almost all Polish diocesan bishops and administrators of the Roman Catholic dioceses in Poland were involved in this help, although only in Poland there was a death penalty for helping Jews.