Polish Senate backs plan for memorial day to honour WWII rescuers of Jews

Poland’s senators have approved a plan to establish March 24 as a new national memorial day to honour Poles who saved Jews during World War II.

A total of 58 senators on Wednesday voted in favour of the move, supporting a legislative initiative by President Andrzej Duda, while 14 members of the upper house opposed the plan, and three abstained from voting.

A week earlier the lower house of Poland’s parliament voted in favour of the move.

The bill now goes to President Duda for signing into law.

On March 24, 1944, German military police shot members of the Polish family of Józef and Wiktoria Ulma, who were sheltering Jews in the village of Markowa in the southeast of the country.

The new memorial day is designed to be a tribute to Poles who saved their Jewish neighbours from extermination at the hands of Poland’s Nazi German occupiers during the war.

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