Four Poles granted Righteous Among the Nations medals

Four Polish women have been awarded the Righteous Among the Nations of the World medals and honorary diplomas for helping a Jew during WWII. Three of them were granted the distinction posthumously.

Israeli Ambassador to Poland Anna Azari said during a ceremony in Warsaw on Thursday that one could rarely present the Righteous Among the Nations of the World medal to a living person, especially when a saved person was also alive.

The ambassador praised the Righteous and stressed their actions should not be seen as normal but as acts of heroism. She added that it was an exceptional thing to try to save someone while risking one's own life and the lives of their close ones.

The medals were presented to Janina Garbień and posthumously to her mother and two sisters for saving a Jewish girl during the war. The saved woman was also present at the ceremony.

The Righteous Among the Nations is a medal and honorary title awarded since 1963 by the Jerusalem-based Yad Vashem Institute to people who helped Jews during World War II. To date Yad Vashem has honoured over 6,700 Poles with the Righteous Among the Nations title.