The US Congress honoured Polish diplomats who rescued hundreds of Jewish families during WWII

The U.S. Congress has awarded the Congressional Gold Medal to a group of Polish diplomats, known as the Ładoś Group, in recognition of their heroic efforts to save Jewish families during World War II. 

The U.S. House of Representatives has passed a bill to posthumously honour 60 diplomats, including five from Poland, for their courageous actions during the Holocaust.

The bill, titled „The Forgotten Heroes of the Holocaust,” acknowledges diplomats from 28 countries. Among the Polish honorees are Aleksander Ładoś, Stefan Ryniewicz, Juliusz Kuhl, Stefan Ryniewicz and all members of the Ładoś Group. 

This group, led by Aleksander Ładoś, operated out of Switzerland where they forged passports and identity documents for Latin American countries. These documents were then smuggled into German-occupied Europe to save thousands of Jews from extermination.

In addition to the Ładoś Group, Congress also recognised Henryk Sławik, a Polish politician, diplomat, and social worker. Sławik, as head of the Citizens’ Committee for Care to Polish Refugees in Hungary, played à key role in saving many Hungarian and Polish Jews. Tragically, he was executed in the Nazi German concentration camp Mauthausen in August 1944.

The House of Representatives unanimously adopted the bill, stating that the Congressional Gold Medal, the oldest and highest civilian honour in the U.S., is being awarded to those diplomats who „resisted the antisemitic Nazi agenda, risking their families, careers, and lives to help innocent Jewish people flee persecution.” 

The bill further honours those who „valiantly defied that systemic hatred by bravely doing what was right to stand up not only for the Jewish community but for all of mankind.

This recognition serves as a reminder of the bravery and humanity displayed by these diplomats during the tragic period of WWII and the Holocaust. 

 

Image: Facebook (Pilecki Institute)

Author: Sébastien Meuwissen

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