On Sunday, March 7, 2010, Yad Vashem will hold a ceremony posthumously honoring Michalina Jasko from Poland as Righteous Among the Nations. Her granddaughter Elzbieta Jablonska, who is arriving from the United States for the event, will receive the medal and certificate of honor on her behalf. The ceremony will take place in the presence of the survivor, Halina Guter and Chairman of the Commission for the Designation of the Righteous Among the Nations Justice Jacob Turkel.
A memorial ceremony in the Hall of Remembrance will be held at 11:00 followed by the awarding the medal and certificate to the Righteous and the unveiling of the name of the Righteous in the Garden of the Righteous at Yad Vashem. The events will take place in English & Hebrew.
On the eve of WWII, 60,000 Jews lived in Krakow, a quarter of the entire city’s population. On 6 September 1939, the German army occupied Krakow, and the deportation of Krakow’s Jews to the surrounding towns commenced in May 1940. By March 1941, a mere 11,000 Jews remained in the city all of which then were incarcerated in the Podgorze Ghetto, south of the city. Among those forced out of their homes in the Jewish Quarter of Kazimierz, and into the ghetto, were Miriam and Edward Guter, their daughters Franciszka and Halina, and Yetty, their grandmother. On 27-28 October 1942, an Aktion took place in the ghetto, and 7,000 Jews were deported to the Auschwitz-Birkenau and Belcez camps, and another 600 Jews were murdered in the ghetto. Following the Aktion, Edward Guter made the difficult decision to smuggle his daughters, Halina and Franciszka, out of the ghetto and to bring them to the house his acquaintances, the Jasko family. Michalina Jasko, or the “good angel”, as Halina and Franciszka nicknamed her, quickly took action. She found a hiding place outside Krakow in the village of Lencze for Halina and Franciszka, and their mother Miriam who soon joined them. Later on, Edward and Grandmother Yetty also joined them in their hiding place, having managed to escape before the liquidation of the ghetto. Michalina looked after the Guter family with great devotion. Despite inclement weather and at great personal risk, she would travel by train and then walk several kilometers in order to bring them food - a most difficult task in time of war and shortage. As well as meeting their material needs, she would also sit with them for hours, in an effort to raise their spirits and give them moral support. The Guters lived in hiding for over 2 years, and all survived, thanks to Michalina. Michalina Jasko passed away on 1 May 1965.
On 11 November 2008, the Commission for the Designation of the Righteous Among the Nations at Yad Vashem decided to award Michalina Jasko the title of Righteous Among the Nations.
For more information on the Righteous Among the Nations Program: