(JNi.media) Some fifty elderly Christian Poles who saved Jews during World War II were praised as righteous heroes by Jewish officials in Warsaw, AP reported.
The oldest among the rescuers is 100, others are in their 80s and 90s. They gathered for a luncheon at a hotel in downtown Warsaw, and Poland’s chief rabbi, a representative of the Jewish Foundation for the Righteous expressed gratitude to them.
JFR is committed to assisting Righteous Gentiles who are in need, including those who are reluctant to ask for help, believing they acted without expecting reward—then or now.
JFR executive vice president Stanlee Stahl told the assembled: “You represent the very best in Polish society. You are heroes. It is so important to acknowledge the courage and heroism of the righteous, for each of you saved the honor of humanity.”
The State of Israel has issued a Righteous Among the Nations award to 25,685 individuals as of January 1, 2015, of whom 6,532 are Polish. Nazi occupied Poland had 3,000,000 Jews.
The Netherlands produced 5,413 righteous gentiles with 156,000 Jews living there. France, with 250,000 Jews, had 3,853 brave Frenchmen who saved Jews.
Poland’s chief rabbi, Michael Schudrich, said the rescuers don’t consider their actions heroic, continuing to lead admirable lives after the war.
“A universal theme is that they say ‘we did nothing special. We were just normal,’” Schudrich said.
But the truth is that in a sea of evil, risking their own lives and the lives of their families, these elderly gentiles stood out as lone beacons of light.