Plaque unveiled honouring Franciscan nun saving Jews during WWII

Saved from Holocaust Lea Balint and nun Teresa Antonietta Frącek during the ceremony of the consecration a cornerstone under the Matylda Getter Museum of Saving Jewish Children Radek Pietruszka/PAP

A plaque honouring Franciscan nun Matylda Getter was unveiled on the 50th anniversary of her death at Warsaw's Powązki cemetery on Tuesday. Getter, Mother Superior of the Franciscan Sisters of the Family of Mary, helped save several hundred Jews during WWII.

In a letter read out during the ceremony, President Andrzej Duda wrote the conduct of Polish nuns and priests saving Jews (during the Second World War) should arouse in us the spirit of mutual respect, while "their heroism will always be remembered by us and all nations of the world."

Also on Tuesday, a cornerstone was consecrated under the Matylda Getter Museum of Saving Jewish Children. A decision to open the museum at the Franciscan convent in Warsaw was announced by the Warsaw Archdiocese in late July. It is planned to present an exhibition about Catholic nuns and priests saving Jewish children during the war.

Before the war, Matylda Getter opened over 20 care and education facilities. During WWII, Mother Getter and her sisters ran a sanitary centre and provided food for the poorest, and during the Warsaw Uprising a hospital for injured insurgents and civilians. Getter also admitted Jewish children smuggled out of the Warsaw ghetto, and later sent them to orphanages and children's homes run by nuns.

In 1985, Mother Getter was posthumously awarded the Righteous Among the Nations of the World title.