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The Righteous Among the Nations Project
The testimonies of Christians saving the lives of Jews during the Holocaust must be shown to the world through the Vatican.
Many people worldwide regard the Catholic Church and its members as silent bystanders during the Nazi annihilation of the Jews during the Holocaust. They don’t know that many individuals and churches risked their lives to oppose the Nazi Regime and save as many Jews as possible. Through supporting and protecting the Jews in Europe, a light of hope was lit during this very dark and dangerous time.
This story of coming alongside their suffering seldom comes up, and its documentation is widely unseen. Nevertheless, this element of history cannot be overlooked or forgotten. The testimonies of these Christians saving the lives of Jews must be preserved before it’s too late. There is no better place to display this evidence than in the Vatican Museum. Now is the time to act as the survivors are in their final years, and as every hour passes, we lose more than one.
Poland has the world’s highest count of individuals who has been recognized by Yad Vashem as The Righteous Among the Nations — an honor given to non-Jews who risked their lives to save the Jews from extermination during the Holocaust in World War II. Today, there are 7,177 Polish men and women recognized as The Righteous Among the Nations, over a quarter of the 27,921 recognized by Yad Vashem.
It is estimated that it took seven people to save just ONE Jewish life during the Holocaust. In the six long years of war in Poland, the number of Jews who successfully hid on the “Aryan” side of the ghettos could be as high as 100,000 — meaning more than 700,000 people were active in saving the lives of these Jews!! It is estimated that at least twice as many Poles were murdered by the Nazis for their unsuccessful attempt to save Jews. The majority of these people were Catholics. Risking their and their families lives to protect people of a different race and faith, the stories of these heroes have never been told. They vanished from the history of humanity in silence and forgetfulness.
Europe is once again a place of war. Nation against nation. Millions of human tragedies.
Through the examples of these heroes, today’s world needs to understand the value of life, gain new inspiration, be shown how to do right amid horrific times, and rise to a higher level of humanity through respect and recognition.
This is the first time in history that someone will collect stories of these real heroes – Christians who chose life over death, risking their lives to save others during the dark hours of WWII – and use them as examples to future generations.
Connecting the heroes of war with the new generation
How can we transmit this message? Public recognition is the only way.
Where is the best place to do it? The Vatican because it is a well-respected and recognized place where this message can reach people of all nations, all ages, and all religions.
Exhibition of Catholic heroism in the Vatican
We propose to make an exhibition at the Vatican Museum featuring testimonials of the heroic actions of Catholics who saved Jewish lives. The exhibition will demonstrate evidence of Catholic support of the Jews during the Holocaust with a digital archive including 100,000 stories. This project includes a global campaign to find the testimonies, research, identify, collect and verify the facts. They will be digitized and published online. Our goal is to achieve this in three years, while the last of the survivors can still tell their stories!
Helping Hand Global Forum
Dr. Andre Gasiorowski, President & CEO / Boaz Harpaz, Board Member / Luke Gasiorowski, COO
During the Papal Audience on May 18th 2022 in Vatican, members of Helping Hand Global Forum delegation handed over to H.H Pope Francis the project Righteous Among the Nations demo brochure with a description of the project, and covering the first three stories of Irena Sendler, Izak Goldfinger, and Gita Koifman.
Thanks to all Helping Hand Global Forum team and volunteers and their amazing work in preparation and publishing the presentation of this project in absolutely minimal time, we were able to present the Righteous Among the Nations project to H.H. Pope Francis during our meeting in the Vatican. Special thanks to Sarah Gasiorowski for project presentation coordination, Hannah-Rose Russell, Joe Bunting and Sue Weems, and Sarah Gasiorowski for writing the stories, Stina Skaren for stories illustration, Claudia Dewald for photography, Harri Skaren for graphic design, and Boaz Harpaz for express publishing and print coordination.
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