09 October 2007
On Wednesday, October 10, 2007, Avner Shalev, Chairman of Yad Vashem, will participate in a special event honoring Polish Righteous Among the Nations in Warsaw. The event, to be held in the National Opera, is the initiative of Polish President Lech Kaczyński. In addition to President Kaczyński, Shalev will address the assembled parliamentarians, Righteous Among the Nations and Holocaust survivors. The president will also present the Polish Righteous Among the Nations with official decorations.
Shalev commended the Polish President and Republic for initiating official, Polish recognition of the Polish Righteous Among the Nations, and for the concurrent commitment to educate future generations to combat antisemitism and racism.
“The Righteous inspire us and motivate us to continue the struggle against antisemitism and racism. The Righteous upheld the universal human values on which mankind rests. They have proven that however difficult, it is within all our abilities to stand up for humanity, even when few others dare. The Holocaust has painfully taught us that hatred and antisemitism eventually poison its own bearers, just as it destroys its object. The lesson is true for Poland today, no less than decades ago: Antisemitism - in any form - will continue to threaten the noblest values of any country unless it is vigorously and continually fought.”
Nearly 22,000 people have been recognized by Yad Vashem as Righteous Among the Nations; more than 6000 of them from Poland.