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Anniversary in Markowa

On March 24th, 1944, the eight-person Ulma family, who gave shelter to the Jewish Szall and Goldman families, died at the hands of German military policemen, along with the harbored Jews.

The celebrations commemorating the victims of this crime took place in Markowa on March 23rd, 2011. The following participated: Deputy Prime Minister Waldemar Pawlak, Vicemarshal of the Sejm Marek Kuchciński, representatives of the Law and Justice party and the Polish People’s Party, and the inhabitants of Markowa.

Wreaths and flowers were laid at the Ulma family’s memorial. Furthermore, the exposition ‘Samarytanie z Markowej. Ulmowie – Polacy zamordowani przez Niemców za pomoc Żydom’ (Polish: The Samaritans from Markowa. The Ulma family – Poles murdered by Germans for helping Jews) was opened. As Mateusz Szpytma, a historian of the National Institute of Remembrance (IPN), said there are about 1,700 documented instances of harboring Jews in the Podkarpacie region. More than 200 people died because of helping the Jewish population.

On March 23rd the Sejm’s Culture and Media Committee passed a MPs’ draft resolution on commemorating the martyrs’ death of the Ulma family. A group of Members of Parliament also put forward a proposal that the Sejm would adopt a resolution concerning paying tribute to Poles who saved Jews from the Shoah. The draft resolution was already submitted to the Sejm’s Culture and Media Committee.

At the same time, the Ulmas’ beatification process is underway. The diocesan phase of the process has already been closed. The beatification documents will reach Rome on May 24th.

Source: ‘Rocznica w Markowej’, Gazeta Wyborcza, Mar 24, 2011; M. Kamieniecki, ‘Z markowej do Watykanu’, Nasz Dziennik, Mar 24, 2011

Translation: Witold Senenko