Polish president's letter read out at Abraham Segal's funeral
Abraham Isaac Segal, a Holocaust survivor and advocate for a museum of Poles saving Jews in Markowa (southern Poland), was laid to rest in Israel on Sunday. His funeral was attended by Poland's Ambassador to Israel Marek Magierowski.
In the letter read out by the ambassador, Poland's President Andrzej Duda stressed the role of Abraham Segal in promoting knowledge about Poles who saved Jews during WWII.
The president praised Segal for disseminating this knowledge, especially among Israeli youth. He also stressed that "friendship between Poles and Jews was always of great concern for Segal."
"The truth about the ages of co-existence on Polish soil, about the tragic fate of our nations during the German occupation, about the Holocaust, and heroism of those who risked their lives to help their Jewish co-citizens and neighbours, is the foundation on which we should build our future. Abraham Segal was a promoter of this message to future generations," President Duda wrote.
Segal was among 21 Jews saved by Polish residents of Markowa during WWII.
On March 24, 1944, Jozef and Wiktoria Ulma were executed by the Nazi Germans together with their six children and the Jewish fugitives they were hiding. At the time of her execution, Wiktoria Ulma was eight months pregnant; her oldest daughter was eight years old.
The Ulma Family Museum of Poles Saving Jews opened in the village of Markowa on March 17, 2016. The opening of the museum was attended by Segal's family.
In 1995, Józef and Wiktoria were posthumously awarded with the title of Righteous Among the Nations. The medals are awarded by the Jerusalem-based Yad Vashem Institute to individuals and families who risked their own lives and the lives of their loved ones to rescue Jews from the Holocaust. In 2010, late President Lech Kaczyński distinguished them with the Commander's Cross of the Polonia Restituta Order.
In 2016, President Duda decorated Segal with the Knight's Cross of the Order of Merit of the Republic of Poland.