Exhibition on tour

Righteous Insurgents ‘44

The next anniversary of the outbreak of the Warsaw Uprising is not only an occasion to look at this heroic revolt in the context of historical analysis, but also an opportunity to get to know its participants and their touching and inspiring stories. Warsaw insurgents can and must be perceived from many perspectives. We choose our own by focusing on those who, apart from insurgent experience, can pride themselves on their help given to the Jews condemned to extermination by the occupier. It is them: the Righteous Insurgents ‘44. The ones who, apart from decorations conferred to them in recognition of war bravery, also hold the honorific title of Righteous Among the Nations given by the Israeli Yad Vashem Institute (often received together with their friends and family), are main characters of this exhibition.

There are so many conditions that make the selected characters differ from one another: age, gender, social origin, political views, interests, etc. Nevertheless, it is not difficult to see some common denominators: loyalty to universal values, nonconformity, commitment and responsibility.

The presented biographies are stories of double fight. The first is a direct struggle against the German occupier, carried out on the barricades of the rising Warsaw, in intelligence units, at radio stations, at factories, and in field hospitals. The second is a fight against the occupier, clandestine and secret, which took place at the walls of the ghetto, in hideouts that became a shelter for exterminated Jews, and in offices organizing false identity cards. And both fights were a sign of concern for disadvantaged fellow citizens and for homeland. Both were carried out with a sense of helplessness, anger and omnipresent fear. In any case, the real price for opposing the ongoing harm was death. In the background it still remained Poland which had been devastated during several years of occupation, and still have been struggling with the Nazi and Soviet enemy.

Organizer: The Ulma Family Museum of Poles Saving Jews in World War II

The concept of the exhibition: Jakub Pawłowski

Authors of texts: Kamil Kopera, Jakub Pawłowski, Anna Stróż-Pawłowska

Production Coordinators: Katarzyna Nowicka, Marcin Zgłobiś

Graphic Design: Mikołaj Birek

Exhibition on tour

‘On your soil I was destined to sing the song of your land – Stories of Eminent Figures of Jewish Origin from the Podkarpacie Region’
Arthur Miller, an outstanding novelist and life partner of Marylin Monroe, a Nobel Prize winner in nuclear physics, Isidor Isaac Rabi, or Freud’s associate Abraham Brill – these are just a few of famous people presented here, who share not only international success, but also origin: being Jewish and at the same time coming from Podkarpacie.

For most of them, this region was nothing more than a country of ancestors or a country of their childhood, often perceived from the perspective of the Holocaust as a ‘lost paradise’, but also as a land stained with blood. Most of them, in the era of migration, make their careers abroad, and only few decide to become permanently connected with Podkarpacie. However, even those few are not able to make their dream come true – Nachum Sternheim and his family are killed during the German occupation in Rzeszów, and Kalman Segal and Roman Harte leave the country after the war due to growing discrimination and missing career prospects.

The attitude of Jewish ‘citizens of the world’ originating in the Podkarpacie to this region is very diverse throughout the century – some, such as Berish Weinstein, recall it with sentiment in their works, others in their autobiographies make only laconic references to their roots in the Podkarpacie region, while others, such as Fred Zinnemann, do not mention them at all.

The presented characters, apart from their Jewish and Podkarpacie origins, have one more thing in common: their passion and pursuit of their dreams. Presented biographies are the history of fighting against the adversities of fate and the history of turning defeats into success. Due to their titanic work, their accomplishments are known to almost everyone. It is a huge loss that, paraphrasing the title quote from the poem by Berish Weinstein, despite their ties with the Podkarpacie region, these people ‘were destined to sing the song on another, not Podkarpacie, land’.

Exhibiton authors:
Kamil Kopera, Jakub Pawłowski, Anna Stróż / Muzeum Polaków Ratujących Żydów/ Museum of Poles Saving Jews

Coordination of production:
Marcin Zgłobiś, Karolina Woźniak

Pro Human Design, Kraków

Exhibition on tour


The exhibition is made of twenty charts that present: i.a. documents and photos illustrating the history of the Polish and Jewish community in Markowa, as well as the reality of the German occupation in Poland, where anyone who helped Jews was threatened with death penalty.The authors of the exhibition, taking the tragic history of the Ulma family as the starting point for their narrative, describe other examples of rescuing Jews (also in Markowa, where Poles saved 21 lives) and present, for example, the map of the localities in the Podkarpackie region, where Jews were harboured by Poles.

Józef and Wiktoria Ulma during the German occupation were hiding at their house in Markowa eight Jews: five men from the Goldman family from Łańcut, and three women, residents of Markowa – Lea Didner with her little daughter, and Golda Grünfeld. They were denounced to the German authorities. As a result, all the Jews hidden by the Ulmas were killed. The rescuers: Józef Ulma, his wife Wiktoria (who was in late pregnancy), as well as their six small children, also lost their lives.

The closing elements of the exhibition are the documents from the Ulmas’ beatification process and the diploma certifying that Wiktoria and Józef were awarded the “Righteous Among the Nations” title.

Curator of the exhibition and author of the texts: Mateusz Szpytma, PhD

Graphic design: Marcin Krzanicki

The exhibition held by the Marshall Office of the Podkarpackie Region and the Institute of National Remembrance – the local branch in Kraków

Partner: Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Poland

The physical version of the exhibition is bilingual (Polish and English). Fourteen other language versions will be available in the electronic version



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