The Polish Senate approved a resolution making March 24 the National Remembrance Day for Poles Who Saved Jews.
Polish President Andrzej Duda initiated the new national holiday.
The resolution approved on Wednesday was supported by 58 senators, including 51 from the ruling Law and Justice party. Some 14 senators voted against the resolution, including 13 from the centre-right Civic Platform party. Three abstained from the vote.
“In the conviction of the president, this day is meant to connect Poles with different views, but with a common belief that people who saved the Jewish population deserve respect,” said Wojciech Kolarski, Undersecretary of State in the Chancellery of the President.
On March 24, 1944, the Germans murdered the Ulma family – Józef, Wiktoria, and their six children – in Markowa, in southeastern Poland. Jews who were hiding in their house also were killed that day. On March 17, 2016, the Museum of Poles Rescuing Jews was opened in Markowa.
Poles are the largest group among those who received the medal of the Righteous from the Yad Vashem memorial in Jerusalem, numbering over 6,000 people.
While life in Israel has returned to normal and hopes are high that Britain is set for a summer without restrictions thanks to vaccines, for billions around the world there is no such imminent light at the end of the tunnel. In the majority of countries around the globe, particularly the poorest, the vaccine rollout has barely kicked off.
That's why Jewish News, the leading source of news and opinion for the entire UK community, is throwing its full weight behind UNICEF’s VaccinAid campaign by using this platform usually reserved for encouraging donations towards our own journalism to instead urge our readers around the globe to perform the greatest mitzvah: saving a life.
We have never before done this for any charity fundraiser but it's hard to recall a campaign that affects so many people, and indeed an entire planet aching for a return to normality. Just like the Chief Rabbi and Rachel Riley, we hope to boost the mission to deliver two billion vaccines, 165 million treatments and 900 million test kits around the world by the end of this year.
Please donate as much as you can, in the spirit of the Talmudic sages: “to save one life is to save the world entire”