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POLISH HOLOCAUST DISPLAY - The Good Samaritans of Markowa on display @ the downtown Library through March 5

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For Immediate Release:                   February 7, 2017
Information:                                     Joy Testa Cinquino, 716-858-7182, testaj@buffalolib.org 

Polish Holocaust Display

The Good Samaritans of Markowa

On Display at the Downtown Library through March 5

The generally unknown story of the Ulma Family of Markowa, Poland, named as “Righteous Among the Nations” and venerated by the Catholic Church, is told in a new display now through Sunday, March 5 on the main floor of the Downtown Central Library, 1 Lafayette Square.  The display is free and open to the public during all Library hours.

In both English and Polish, the display was created by the Consulate General of the Republic of Poland and the Polish Cultural Institute in New York City, and the Ulma Family Museum of Poles Saving Jews in World War II, Markowa, Poland.  It was brought to Buffalo by the Permanent Chair of Polish Culture at Canisius College, dedicated in memory of the late Concentration Camp survivor Stanley Blake.

Jozef and Wiktoria Ulma were well known in their southeastern Poland community, growing fruit and keeping bees.  Jozef was a librarian and amateur photographer.  When the German occupation of Poland began in 1942, and Jewish families in their town began disappearing, the Ulmas hid eight members of two Jewish families in their home for nearly two years.  They, their six children (all under age 9, with a seventh expected) and the families they were hiding were murdered by the Nazis in March 1944.  Their courage and supreme sacrifice was recognized by Yad Vashem, the World Holocaust remembrance authority in Israel; and a beatification process was begun by the Catholic Church in 2003. Today there is a museum in Markowa honoring the family and many other Poles who heroically tried to protect Jews during the German occupation of Poland.

In conjunction with the display, Canisius College’s Permanent Chair of Polish Culture is presenting a free showing and discussion of the acclaimed 2011 PBS documentary Irena Sendler: In the Name of Their Mothers on Sunday, February 12 at 2 p.m. at the Downtown Library. The film tells the heroic story of a group of young Polish women who, at great risk to themselves, smuggled 2,500 Jewish children out of the Warsaw Ghetto to safety in convents and orphanages. A reception officially opening the display will follow the film.

For further information visit the Library’s website at www.BuffaloLib.org or call 716-858-8900.