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Righteous Polish Gentiles Honored in Commemorative Coins

Poland issuing commemorative coins to honor Polish families killed by the Nazis for their efforts to save Jews in the Holocaust.
By Rachel Hirshfeld
First Publish: 3/12/2012, 10:38 AM

Ancient coins (file)
Ancient coins (file)
Flash 90

Poland is issuing commemorative coins to honor three Catholic-Polish families who were killed by the Nazis becaue of their efforts to save Jews during the Holocaust, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency reported (JTA).

The National Bank of Poland is schedule to issue two coins, on March 15, honoring of the Ulma, Kowalski and Baranek families.

The coins come in denominations of two zlotys, worth about 65 cents, and 20 zlotys, worth about $6.50, the JTA explained. 

Wincenty and Łucja Baranek, who lived in the village of Siedliska, were shot and killed on March 15, 1942 after the Nazis discovered eight Jews hiding in their home. Jozef and Wiktoria Ulma, of the village of Markowa, were also murdered after the Nazis found them sheltering their Jewish neighbors.

Adam and Bronisława Kowalski hid two Jews in their house in the village of Ciepielow. In December 1942, the Kowalskis, their five children and the Jews they were hiding were all killed after the Nazis burned their home to the ground.

Former co-founder of the Museum of the History of Polish Jews, Jerzy Halbersztadt, said that some 30,000 to 40,000 Jews survived the occupation of Poland because of such families,

“And although most of our fellow citizens did not know how to, or were unable to, resist the crimes, the accomplishments of the noblest and bravest people should give us the strength to cope with difficult problems in our history,” he stated.