The Righteous Among the Nations are the personification of hope during one of the darkest events in human history. As Europe was engulfed in Nazi Germany’s racist ideology, those brave souls, whose actions put others’ lives above their own, are a reminder to the world of our common humanity.
The subject is close to me, as Poles constitute the largest national group of the Righteous Among the Nations, although the current total of 6,706 Poles honoured by Yad Vashem surely underestimates the true level of assistance.
Despite facing the death penalty, numerous Poles helped their Jewish neighbours, as well as complete strangers. Others, such as Witold Pilecki and Jan Karski, did all they could to inform the Western Allies of the Holocaust, to no avail. It is within this context that the exceptional courage and devotion of the Righteous needs to be seen.
What makes Antony Lishak’s project so special is its focus on the bonds formed between the rescued and the rescuers, shedding light on unique stories of heroism.
His sensitive approach enables students to identify with the Righteous and to better understand the difficult choices they had to make, encouraging them to reflect upon their own attitudes in life.
Indeed, there are many questions all of us could ponder: Given the terrible circumstances of the time, would we have the courage to risk our lives to help others? Sadly, it is a question even more pertinent in today’s challenging world.
I am glad Antony teaches with such courage about those important matters. I look forward to supporting the development of this exceptional educational project.