Related topics

Pole who helped save Jews donates items to museum

October 9, 2013

WARSAW, Poland (AP) — A former Polish foreign minister who helped save Jews from the Holocaust on Wednesday donated World War II documents and distinctions he received from Israel to a Jewish history museum opening in Warsaw.

The Museum of the History of Polish Jews said 91-year-old Wladyslaw Bartoszewski donated items including: fake wartime documents of Dr. Leon Feiner, a Jewish resistance leader; a ring made in the Lodz Ghetto in 1942; wartime media reports about the Warsaw Ghetto uprising; his own medal honoring him as one of the Righteous Among the Nations, a title given to non-Jews who risked their lives to save Jews during the Holocaust; and an Israeli honorary citizenship document.

Like many other non-Jewish Poles, Bartoszewski himself was imprisoned at the German Nazi death camp of Auschwitz — from 1940-41. He was among the very few freed, and later co-founded the clandestine Zegota organization, which gave Jews fake documents and placed them with Polish families.

After communism fell, he served twice as Poland’s foreign minister — in 1995 and 2000-2001.

The multi-media core exhibition at the museum is to open next year and will document the thousand-year-long history of Jewish life and culture in Poland. The building is already open to the visitors, serving as a cultural and educational center offering temporary exhibits, films, lectures and other activities.

Update hourly