The Polish American Congress, on the day of the beatification of the Ulma family, wants to emphasize, that despite the fact that only in Poland during the German occupation in 1939-1945 was a punishment by death for saving Jews, as many as over seven thousand Poles, were honored with the title of Righteous Among the Nations.

The Polish American Congress would like to honor the memory of Polish farmers, Józef and Wiktoria Ulma, who along with six children were murdered for hiding Jews by German gendarmes on March 24, 1944.

Not only Józef and his pregnant wife Wiktoria was shot to death, along with their six young children. The Germans also killed eight of their fellow citizens of Jewish origin, whom they were hiding: Saul Goldman with his four sons, Golda Grünfeld and Lea Didner with their young daughter. 

This event became a symbol of the cruelty of the German occupation and the heroism of Poles saving Jews. The Ulma family paid the highest price for helping Jews.

In 1995, Victoria and Joseph were included in the Righteous Among the Nations. In 2003, the beatification process of this heroic family began. The symbol of the Righteous Among the Nations are trees planted in Yad Vashem, the largest number of them commemorates Poles.

Mass murders of Poles and the destruction of Polish elites by the German Nazi are an extremely important still painful part of the history of Poland, which also directly affects the American Polonia.

The generation of WWII survivors, very often could not return to Poland, many veterans remained in exile in the USA. At that time, many organizations helping Poles were established,  looking for family members missing in the turmoil of war and sending aid to Poland to assist thousands of the war orphans.

In December 1943, the leaders of the National Committee of Americans of Polish Descent  met in Chicago with Charles Rozmark, president of the Polish National Alliance, Honorata Wołowska, president of the Polish Women Alliance, Teofil Starzyński, president of the Polish Falcons of America and Jan Olejniczak, president of the Polish-Roman Catholic Union and leaders of the Polish clergy and the Polish press. There it was decided that the time had come for representatives of the American Polonia in America to organize themselves politically to represent Polish affairs in the USA.

The Polish American Congress was the product of this extraordinary gathering. The record of the Polish American Congress in its constant support of a free and sovereign Poland, its humanitarian work on behalf of Poland’s people.

The first president of the PAC was Charles Rozmarek, from the beginning, its founders supported the Republic of Poland’s battle for freedom. 

Polish American Congress

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