Film about Polish and Hungarian WWII heroes to be released on Monday
A documentary about Henryk Sławik and Jozsef Antall Sr., a Polish politician and a Hungarian government commissioner, respectively, who saved around 5,000 Polish Jews in Hungary during WWII, will have its premiere in Katowice, south Poland, on Monday.
The documentary, titled "Oto człowiek - rzecz o Henryku Sławiku i Jozsefie Antallu" (Here is the man - the story of Henryk Sławik and Jozsef Antall) and directed by Adam Kraśnicki, was co-produced by the Polish public television TVP and the Institute of National Remembrance (IPN).
Henryk Sławik (1894-1944) was a Polish politician, social activist and diplomat who, during World War II, together with Hungarian government executive Jozsef Antall Sr. issued false passports to help about 30,000 Polish refugees, including approx. 5,000 Polish Jews, in Hungary. In Budapest, Sławik established a Citizen's Committee for Help for Polish refugees and, along with Jozsef Antall, organised jobs for POWs and refugees.
He also assisted exiled POWs in leaving internment camps and travelling to France to join the Polish Army, and was a delegate of the Polish Government-in-Exile. Arrested after German forces had entered Hungary in 1944, he was executed in Mauthausen on Aug. 25 or 26, 1944. In 1990, he was posthumously granted the Yad Vashem medal for "The Righteous among the Nations of the World." In 2004, he was posthumously granted the Grand Cross of the Polonia Restituta Order, and in 2010 the Order of the White Eagle.
Jozsef Antall Sr. (1896-1974) was appointed a Hungarian government commissioner for war refugees in 1939. He was granted numerous foreign distinctions, including, the Commander's Cross of the Polonia Restituta Order in 1948, and posthumously the Grand Cross of the Order of Merit of the Republic of Poland (2010). In 1990, he was posthumously decorated with the Yad Vashem Righteous Among the Nations of the World medal.
In March 2015, the then Polish and Hungarian Presidents Bronislaw Komorowski and Janos Ader, respectively, unveiled in Katowice a memorial commemorating the two great men.