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List of Polish Righteous Among the Nations

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

List of Polish Righteous Among the Nations includes families and individuals recognised as Righteous Among the Nations for rendering rescue and assistance to Jews persecuted by Nazi Germany during the Holocaust in Poland. As of 1 January 2019, there are 6,992 men and women recognized as Polish Righteous Among the Nations,[1] over a quarter of the 27,362 recognized by Yad Vashem in total.[2]


  • Władysław Bońkowski: After the liquidation of the Sambor Ghetto, Władysław Bońkowski, a restaurant manager at the Sambor train station, offered shelter to a group of sixteen Jews who escaped from the ghetto, and successfully hid them throughout the remainder of the war. Bońkowski was recognised as Righteous in 1967.[3]
  • Henryk Buszko: Buszko (age 30) farming near Białystok, rescued Jews who escaped from the Holocaust train heading from the Białystok Ghetto for the Treblinka extermination camp on September 21, 1943. Buszko was caught by the German gendarmerie arriving at Liza Stara from Pietkowo, and murdered for hiding Jews.[4][5]


  • Krystyna Cywińska: Krystyna Cywińska who lived in Grodno with two children was killed in 1943 for saving Jews. She was arrested after one of the Jewish girls at her home, Bella Ilin, went with her daughter Danuta Cywińska back to the Grodno Ghetto to rescue Bella's mother and brother. Bella (now Shulman) and Danuta were unsuccessful, but lived. Danuta rescued five other Jews soon thereafter.[6]
  • Marcin Czyżykowski: Czyżykowski, a Home Army member, brought in food and medicine into the Bialystok Ghetto and on the way back took Jewish children to his and his wife Maria's home (up to twelve of them would wait there at a time, for placement with Polish families).[7][8]


  • Antoni Docha: Polish medical doctor Antoni Docha was asked by his prewar colleague Dr. Chaim Blumstein to help him and his family escape from the Grodno Ghetto. Docha bribed a Polish driver of a big German truck and went to the ghetto along with him. They put a dozen Jews under the rags and tarpaulin including Blumstein and Broide families and successfully crossed several German checkpoints. The driver finally broke down and asked Docha along with everybody else to get out of the lorry. They reached Docha's house in Indura on foot. Antoni Docha and his wife Janina took in more Jews as the time went on. All survived. Many kept corresponding after the war.[9]


  • Bolesław Idzikowski: Bolesław Idzikowski used to bring food to his many acquaintances in the Kielce Ghetto, and personally extricated over a dozen Jews from the ghetto by risking his own life. He saved Estera Jurkowski and her two brothers along with Mr. Lapa, his wife, and their four-year-old daughter, as well as the Ksawer couple, and the family of Maciej Rusinek (false name from the Kennkarte), his wife, and their six-year-old daughter. Idzikowski, the Polish Righteous, used to secretly depart from Kielce with the Jews he had rescued, and placed them with his Polish friends elsewhere. Most of them survived the war.[10]


  • Jan Kaliszczuk: Kaliszczuk sheltered two Jewish partisans at his home, Judel Pitluk and Aron Lach, and after the liquidation of the Białystok Ghetto, supplied them with food and medicine and drove them to the forest. Both survived.[11]
  • Celina Kędzierska: A group of Jewish children, some secretly smuggled out of the Sambor Ghetto, stayed at the Polish orphanage in Sambor, run by the Franciscan Sisters of the Family of Mary under the care of Mother Superior Celina Kędzierska, recognized as a Righteous Among the Nations in 2015.[12]
  • Klewicki family: In the face of extreme situation a postcard was sent from Częstochowa Ghetto to Józefów with no recipient and no street address except for three words: "I’ve fallen ill, (signed) Jadzia." The post-office in Józefów gave it to local alderman who managed to find the recipient only by looking at the stamp. He asked around for people with connection to Częstochowa. It was the Klewicki family, recognized as the Righteous Among the Nations in 1993.[13] Stanisława Klewicka guessed that the postcard came from her childhood friend Jadzia Broniatowska, a Polish-Jewish dentist. She went to Częstochowa and rescued them all with false papers from the Polish underground including Jadzia and her husband Natan Rodał, Adela Mitelman, and his sister Natalia Frydrych with her son, joined by Dr Wacław Konar and his son Jerzy also from the ghetto. They hid until liberation at the Klewicki villa in Radość near Warsaw.[13]
  • Maria and Anna Koźmińska: During the liquidation of the Częstochowa Ghetto, a Jewish boy, Abraham Jabłoński, run away from the trains with the aid of a Polish Blue policeman and found refuge with Maria and Anna Koźmińska. He survived and contacted the two Righteous women from Israel after 47 years.[14]
  • The Krzywicki family: In March 1943, Meir Trachtenberg with his wife and son escaped from the Grodno Ghetto and walked for 20 kilometres (12 mi) to Dulkowszczyzna, where they were rescued by Anna and Stanisław Krzywicki. All survived.[15]


  • Misiewicz family: The Misiewicz family of Tarnopol saved the Bien family. Adam Misiewicz constructed a dug-out by the house, and the youngest Lunia Bien lived with the rescuers. The retreating Nazis burned the house to the ground after an unsuccessful search.[16]


  • Jan and Mieczysław Oczyński: Amalia Mudrycki, a Jewish woman hiding on the Aryan side of Sambor, approached Jan and Mieczysław Oczyński – father and son living next door – with the plea to rescue her closest friends from the Drohobycz Ghetto. Jan was a railway engineer, Mieczysław was a violinist fresh from the conservatory. They took in Dr. Maksymilian Getlinger with his wife Leontyna and their son-in-law Dr. Alfred Herzig, as well as their friend Rachela. Also, Mieczysław went to Drohobycz with an address from Amalia and smuggled from the ghetto a 10-year-old boy, Adam. Feeding them all became a challenge, but the living conditions were exceptionally good. Mieczysław worked in the fields of his uncle Mr. Ochowicz to earn the extra food they needed. While there, he met the Jewish sisters in hiding, Basia and Ewa Schreiber. Basia was seriously ill. Mieczysław took her to Sambor and put her under the care of Dr. Herzig hiding in his own home. Meanwhile, the circumstances forced Amalia Mudrycki to also accept Oczyńskis' hospitality. All Jews survived, and with time left their homeland for Israel and Brazil.[17] The Getlingers stayed in contact with the two Oczyńskis for many years. Jan and his son Mieczysław Oczyński were recognized as Righteous by Yad Vashem in September 1983.[17]


Alojzy Plewa (left), his brother Feliks, and Ruth Schwarz rescued from the Sambor Ghetto, 1942
Alojzy Plewa (left), his brother Feliks, and Ruth Schwarz rescued from the Sambor Ghetto, 1942
  • Alojzy Plewa: Guta Gripel Korngold with her husband Henryk Schwarz and two-year-old daughter Ruth survived thanks to help from Alojzy Plewa, a Polish Righteous from Sambor who never asked for anything in return.[18] In late 1942 he brought them money and clothing to the ghetto from his Jewish friends in Silesia and on the way back smuggled their child (pictured) across the ghetto gate. His brother Feliks and both parents took care of the girl until the occupation ended. They gave her a Polish-sounding name Antośka for her safety,[18] while the Schwarz' couple with Ehiel hid with other rescuers. In the meantime, Alojzy Plewa extended assistance to other Jews, including Jan and Anna Dziula. After the war, the Schwarz family settled in Israel.[19] Plewa was recognized as the Righteous by Yad Vashem in November 1978.[19]


  • Regent family: The Regent family hid the family of Malwina and Roman Gross who had escaped from the Tarnopol Ghetto. Roman Gross, an attorney, has previously defended Józef Regent preventing his deportation to Siberia by the NKVD.[20] The Regents received medals of the Righteous in 1995.[20]


  • Schnitzer family: Józef Schnitzer and his family hid several Jews in their house and nearby shelters. The dug-outs for the Jews were often used by the Polish farmers themselves, whenever the OUN-UPA fighting squads were in the area. Józef was killed by the Germans in one of local raids; the Jews he hid survived the war.[21]
  • Sikora family: When the Hasag-Pelcery forced labour camp was liquidated ahead of the Soviet offensive in 1945, Stefan Sikora from the fire brigade with his son Jerzy and daughter Aleksandra, Polish Righteous from Częstochowa, rescued Kalman Chęciński, Zisla Cholozin née Blajwajs, and Bruria Bajski née Erlich from a death march heading for the heartland of Germany.[22]
  • Helena Sitkowska: In the fall of 1942, Bronisława Kozak née Landau who was already widowed, fled the Częstochowa Ghetto ahead of Operation Reinhard, along with her two daughters, Hadassa (Wisia) and Marion (age 8). Helped by Polish villagers they journeyed to Warsaw, where the girls were placed in a Catholic convent temporarily.[23] Just before the outbreak of the Warsaw Uprising all three were rescued by the Sitkowski family of widowed Helena Sitkowska recognized as the Righteous in 1995. The two families fled from Warsaw to the south of occupied Poland and luckily survived together thanks to ingenuity of both women, a Pole and a Jew.[23]
  • Michał and Jadwiga Skalski: In February 1943, Leon Grynberg with his daughter Halinka as well as Felicja and Jakub Wajsfeld, all from Bialystok Ghetto, were saved by Michał and Jadwiga Skalski who lived on the Arian side with their 10 years old daughter. Felicja delivered a baby-girl into Jadwiga's hands. Skalskis took in Fruma and Jankiel Rosen, and Aleksander Brener with his daughter Ida as well, seven people altogether. Most survived.[24]
  • Leon Śliwiński: Polish Righteous Leon Śliwiński,[25] evicted by the Germans from his family home at Leśna Street in Kielce during the formation of the Kielce Ghetto, used to return in secrecy to sell bread and meats to ghettoised Jews. He met his friend Dawid (David) Friedman whose parents were already dead. David's caretaker, Mr. Rozenberg, asked Leon to save him; Leon was 14 years old, David was 12.[25] They boarded the train to Daleszyce where Leon's parents stayed. David was given a new name as Zygmunt Śliwiński and taken in, as a "cousin" from Warsaw. All survived. David's sister and her Polish rescuers did not. She was smuggled out of the ghetto in the second round of the rescue attempts. However, the family who harboured her were caught and murdered by the German police.[26][27] Friedman relocated to Kraków, then to Chrzanów, learned Yiddish, and emigrated to Israel in 1947.[25] Forty-four years later in 1991, Leon's parents, Bolesław Śliwiński, who died in 1949, and Leonia Śliwińska née Berendt, who died in 1978, were bestowed titles of the Righteous in Israel.[27][failed verification] Leon Śliwiński received his title on 23 May 1993 in Warsaw. In 1996 David invited Leon to Israel. They were elated to see each other. When asked, why he risked his own life to rescue David, Leon replied, "I just wanted him to live. I knew that all others were being deported to their deaths."[26] Leon Śliwiński died in Kielce on 12 February 2012.[27]
  • Jan and Władysława Smolko: Dr. Michael Turek and his brother Menachem escaped deportation from the Bialystok Ghetto and reached the home of Jan and Władysława Smolko who already harbored the Goldzin family of four.[28][29]
  • Elzbieta Szyszkiewicz-Burda: Szyszkiewicz-Burda, alias Liza (a professional nurse), used to pull Jews off the street – and out of mortal danger – right into her home, which served as a safe-house and contact place for the Jewish partisan movement in the Bialystok area.[30]


  1. ^ "Righteous Among the Nations Honored by Yad Vashem" (PDF).
  2. ^ "Names of Righteous by Country |". Retrieved 2018-09-29.
  3. ^ "Bońkowski FAMILY". Retrieved 2019-06-18.
  4. ^ "Henryk Buszko - zamordowany za pomoc Żydom | Memory And Identity | International Information Center". Retrieved 2019-06-19.
  5. ^ Ryszard Walczak (1 January 1996). Those who helped: Polish rescuers of Jews during the Holocaust. Main Commission for the Investigation of Crimes against the Polish Nation--The Institute of National Memory. p. 58. ISBN 978-83-908819-0-4.
  6. ^ Sprawiedliwi (2015). "Sprawiedliwy wśród Narodów Świata" [Righteous among the Nation]. Tytuł przyznany: Krystyna Cywińska and Danuta Jurkowska nee Cywińska. Retrieved 18 March 2015.
  7. ^ Polscy Sprawiedliwi (2015). "Maria & Marcin Czyżykowski". Sprawiedliwy wśród Narodów Świata – tytuł przyznany. Przywracanie Pamięci. Alphabetical listing. Retrieved March 19, 2015.
  8. ^ Żmijewska, Monika (10 April 2011). "Bohaterowie wydobyci z zapomnienia. Nowy portal IPN". Retrieved 2019-06-19.
  9. ^ Sprawiedliwi (2015). "Sprawiedliwy wśród Narodów Świata" [Righteous among the Nation]. Tytuł przyznany: Janina Docha nee Bartoszewicz and Antoni Docha. Retrieved 18 March 2015.
  10. ^ Krzysztof Urbański (2005). The martyrdom and extermination of the Jews in Kielce during World War II (PDF). Kieleckie Towarzystwo Naukowe. p. 158.
  11. ^ Israel Gutman; Lucien Lazare; Sara Bender (2004). The Encyclopedia of the Righteous Among the Nations: Rescuers of Jews During the Holocaust. Yad Vashem. p. 329.
  12. ^ ""Be a good person". The story of Sister Celina Aniela Kędzierska | Polscy Sprawiedliwi". Retrieved 2019-06-12.
  13. ^ a b Polscy Sprawiedliwi (2016). "The Klewicki Family". Sprawiedliwy wśród Narodów Świata - tytuł przyznany. Przywracanie Pamięci. Alphabetical listing. Retrieved 23 February 2016.
  14. ^ Zuzanna Benesz, Polscy Sprawiedliwi (March 2011). "The Koźmiński Family". Sprawiedliwy wśród Narodów Świata - tytuł przyznany. Przywracanie Pamięci. Alphabetical listing. Retrieved 23 February 2016.
  15. ^ Sprawiedliwi (2015). "Sprawiedliwy wśród Narodów Świata" [Righteous among the Nation]. Tytuł przyznany: Anna Krzywicka and Stanisław Krzywicki. Retrieved 18 March 2015.
  16. ^ Wojciech Załuska (October 2010). "Rodzina Misiewiczów" [The Misiewicz Family]. Przywracanie Pamięci (The Return of Memory). Polscy Sprawiedliwi (Polish Righteous). p. 1. In Polish. Israel Gutman, Księga Sprawiedliwych wśród Narodów Świata.
  17. ^ a b Yad Vashem. "Oczyński FAMILY; Oczyński Jan and Oczyński Mieczysław (1914 – ), SON". Rescue Story. The Righteous Among The Nations.
  18. ^ a b Magdalena Stankowska (May 2012). "The Plewa Family". Przywracanie Pamięci. Translated by Joanna Sliwa. Polish Righteous – Polscy Sprawiedliwi.
  19. ^ a b World Holocaust Remembrance Center (2016). Rescue Story: Plewa, Alojzy. Yad Vashem.
  20. ^ a b Piotr Żulikowski (January 2011). "Rodzina Regentów" [The Regent Family]. Przywracanie Pamięci (The Return of Memory). Polscy Sprawiedliwi (Polish Righteous). pp. 1 of 3. In Polish, with Google link to optional webpage translation in English.
  21. ^ Joanna Król (March 2011). "Rodzina Schnitzerów" [The Schnitzer Family]. Przywracanie Pamięci (The Return of Memory). Polscy Sprawiedliwi (Polish Righteous). p. 1. In Polish. Titles bestowed 1 January 1998.
  22. ^ Polscy Sprawiedliwi (2016). "The Sikora Family". Sprawiedliwy wśród Narodów Świata - tytuł przyznany. Przywracanie Pamięci. Alphabetical listing. Retrieved February 23, 2016.
  23. ^ a b Polscy Sprawiedliwi – Polish Righteous (2015). "The Sitkowski Family". Sprawiedliwy wśród Narodów Świata - tytuł przyznany (Polish Righteous Among the Nations – Titles awarded). Przywracanie Pamięci. Alphabetical listing. Retrieved 23 February 2016.
  24. ^ "Skalski FAMILY". Retrieved 2019-06-19.
  25. ^ a b c Natalia Aleksiun, Ph.D. (May 2011). "The Śliwiński Family. Story of rescue". Recognized as the Righteous Among the Nations. POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews, (Polish Righteous). With photographs, audio, and video. Leon Śliwiński was born 8 August 1929, David Friedman was born in 1932. The escape took place in April 1943.
  26. ^ a b Lidia Cichocka (4 February 2012). "Dwie niezwykłe historie" [Two remarkable stories]. Ratowali Żydów w czasie wojny (in Polish). Echo Dnia. Świętokrzyskie.
  27. ^ a b c Dr Natalia Aleksiun (October 2010). "Rodzina Śliwińskich: Leonia (1898–1978), Bolesław (1898–1949), Leon (1929–2012). Tytuł przyznany" [Śliwiński Family of the Righteous]. Muzeum Historii Żydów Polskich POLIN. Polscy Sprawiedliwi – Przywracanie Pamięci.
  28. ^ "Smolko FAMILY". Retrieved 2019-06-19.
  29. ^ "Smolko Jan". Retrieved 2019-06-19.
  30. ^ "Burda FAMILY". Retrieved 2019-06-19.
This page was last edited on 7 November 2019, at 16:52
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