Original Source: TVP.info
The descendents of Poles who saved Jews from the Holocaust received a total of 10 medals of Righteous Among the Nations, given out by the Yad Vashem institute in Jerusalem, at a special ceremony at the POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews.
The medals were awarded posthumously to Anna and Lucjan Gąsiorowski, Marianna and Stanisław Kopciowie, Stanisław Koptera, Czesław Kucharski, Franciszek Osiński and his son Tadeusz, Wiktoria Tomal and her children: Stanisław, Józefa and Jan, Maria and Stanisław Teisseyre, Wanda and Aleksander Winniccy, Janina Włodarska-Brosz and Marian Wnuk.
The medals were received by representatives of the awarded families.
Three honorary Israeli citizenships were also issued. Stanisław Pokorski and Jan Wyrwicz received them posthumously. Irena Senderska-Rzońca received it in person.
Małgorzata Gosiewska, Deputy Speaker of the Polish Parliament stressed that the recipients of the medals had risked their own lives and those of their families to help Jews as Poland was the only country where the Germans had imposed a death penalty for any aid given to Jews. She also reminded those present at the ceremony that so far about 27,000 Righteous Among the Nations medals have been awarded, of which almost 7,000 have been awarded to Poles.
The deputy speaker stated that this year is the 150th anniversary of the birth of Matylda Getter (1870-1968), Mother Provincial of the Franciscan Sisters of the Family of Mary in Warsaw.
Ms. Getter saved several hundred Jewish children from the Warsaw Ghetto and other places in German-occupied Poland. The children were given shelter by the nuns in their provincial house at 53 Hoża Street in Warsaw and in over 60 monasteries and care facilities.
The Polish nuns provided the rescued Jewish children not only with shelter, but also care, food and new documents.
Matylda Getter was awarded the title of Righteous Among the Nations by the Yad Vashem Institute in 1985 for her activities.
The Ambassador of Israel, Alexander Ben Zvi, stated that the Righteous Among the Nations medal is the only medal from the times of the Second World War, which is awarded not for fighting, but for saving human lives.
He added that the Poles awarded with the medals are joint heroes of two nations – Poland and Israel.
The Righteous Among the Nations Medal is the highest Israeli civil distinction awarded since 1963 by the Yad Vashem Institute in Jerusalem to people who risked their lives and selflessly helped persecuted Jews during World War II.
Diplomas and medals of the Righteous Among the Nations are presented at ceremonies in Israel or in Israeli diplomatic missions around the world. The Israeli Embassy in Poland organizes several such ceremonies a year, with the majority of them taking place in Warsaw.