No one can tell how many Poles were saving Jews during World War II. So far, the Yad Vashem Institute has awarded 6,620 Polish people the “Righteous Among the Nations” medal. Historians estimate that the number of Poles who aided Jews, risking their own life, was much higher. The criteria of awarding the medal do not always make it possible to honour those who played a significant role in rescuing Jews in the light of various documents and eyewitness testimonies.
The first presented list includes the people whose help for Jews during the German occupation in the present-day Podkarpackie region was confirmed by scientists from the Institute of National Remembrance of the Republic of Poland – the local branch in Rzeszów, and on the basis of documents or trustworthy accounts. Forms of help included: giving shelter, food, financial aid, making fake identification documents, organising escapes from the ghettos.
The other list enumerates those who lost their life for aiding Jews (the names were put in alphabetical order).
We are aware that the presented lists are not exhaustive. The Ulma Family Museum of Poles Saving Jews in World War II is collecting documents and accounts on saving Jews during World War II, which may allow us to supplement the lists.