Righteous Gala 2019

fot. Muzeum Historii Żydów Polskich

On the eve of the European Day of Remembrance for the Righteous we will learn the names of the three persons awarded the title this year. A celebration gala will be held on the 5th of March at 6 PM at the POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews. Free tickets can be downloaded from the POLIN website.

5 March (Tuesday), 7PM, GET A FREE TICKET >>

The Righteous are those who have stood up in the defence of human dignity during the wars and crimes of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. Profiles of the nominees will be presented by Maja Komorowska and Zbigniew Gluza, President of the Committee of the Garden of the Righteous in Warsaw. Then we will learn the names of the awarded persons. Among this year’s nominees are:

  • Arseny Borisovich Roginsky, a Russian historian and political activist, chairman of the board of Memorial, the international historical, educational, charitable and human rights society which researches and documents Soviet crimes.
  • Mbaye Diagne – a Senegalese military officer and a UN military observer in Rwanda who, acting against his orders, saved dozens of Tutsi people, including the children of the murdered Prime Minister Agathe Uwilingiyimana.
  • Ewelina Lipko-Lipczyńska – a Polish-literature teacher who, with her family, saved forty Jews during the Second World War. For this she was awarded the Yad Vashed Righteous Among the Nations title in 1996, and granted Israeli citizenship in 1997. In 1968, she openly protested against student arrests, anti-Semitic campaigning, and the stripping of Jews of citizenship and forcing them into emigration, for which she was fired from her teaching job and blacklisted.
  • Raoul Wallenberg – a Swedish diplomat who saved several dozen thousand Hungarian Jews from the Holocaust.
  • Muhammed Wassem Maaz – a paediatrician from Aleppo, Syria, who one of few people remained in city despite ongoing warfare to tend to sick and wounded children.
  • Harry Wu – a Chinese Catholic, imprisoned for his faith in a laogai concentration camp. Following his release, he emigrated to the USA, where he spent the rest of his life documenting the Chinese Communist crimes.

The European Day of Remembrance for the Righteous, established by the European Parliament in May 2012 on the initiative of the non-profit association Gariwo, the Garden of the Righteous Worldwide Committee, is celebrated on 6 March. The date is significant: on this day died Moshe Bejski, the initiator, born in Poland, of the Gardens of the Righteous in Jerusalem and co-author of the definition of the “Righteous Among the Nations.” The “Righteous”title is broader in its meaning than that of the “Righteous Among the Nations” as awarded by the State of Israel to non-Jews who saved Jews during the Second World War. The “Righteous” title extends also to those who, besides defending human dignity in the days of the Holocaust, opposed the Armenian Genocide, helped the victims of wars and ethnic cleansing in Rwanda, Cambodia, or the former Yugoslavia, and stood up for the cause of freedom in totalitarian regimes.

In 2014, the History Meeting House, with the support of the Gariwo Foundation and the Mayor of the District Wola, initiated the founding of Poland’s first Garden of the Righteous in Warsaw. It is there that trees are planted and plaques unveiled to commemorate the Righteous. Past awardees include Jan Karski, Marek Edelman, Tadeusz Mazowiecki, Anna Politkovskaya, Magdalena Grodzka-Gużkowska, Antonia Locatelli, Petro Hryhorenko, Nelson Mandela, Hasan Mazhar, Władysław Bartoszewski, Witold Pilecki, Father Jan Zieja, Natalya Gorbanevskaya, Jan Jelinek, Roberto Kozak, Rafał Lemkin, Armin Wegner, and Father Adalbert Wojciech Zink.

On 5 March the names will be announced of those for whom we will plant trees and unveil commemorative plaques this spring. The gala will be hosted by Jerzy Kisielewski. A piano recital by Janusz Olejniczak will conclude the evening.


Gala organizers: History Meeting House, POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews

Partners: Polish History Museum, Gariwo