Pole Who Helped Save Jews Makes Donation to Jewish Museum

Wladyslaw Bartoszewski offers various World War Two documents, objects to the Museum of the History of the Polish Jews due to open in 2014.

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A Polish man who helped save Jews from the Holocaust has 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 Wednesday that 91-year-old Wladyslaw Bartoszewski has offered fake 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 of the Righteous Among 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 1940-1941. 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.

Polish soldiers carry hurt comrade during Warsaw Uprising against the Nazis, 1944.Credit: Reuters

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