Gołda Tencer, Józef Hen and attorney Roman Zaczek were recognised with the 50th Anniversary of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising medals. The distinction is bestowed on those with outstanding merit for Polish-Jewish dialogue and reconciliation.
“The 50th Anniversary of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising Medal was initially bestowed on living uprising participants and those who helped in the ghetto’s armed resistance. It was also intended for Poles who had cultivated the memory of the armed struggle of Jews on all fronts of the Second World War” as recalled Tomasz Miedziński, chairman of the Association of Jewish Veterans and Victims of in the Second World War.
Gołda Tencer, an actress and social activist, the director of the Jewish Theatre in Poland and the founder and director of the Shalom Foundation. She is the originator of the “And I Still See Their Faces…” exhibition and album as well as the initiator and organiser of Warsaw’s Singer Festival. She has contributed many years of her life and career to fostering the memory of Jews in Poland and of their contribution to Polish culture.
Roman Zaczek, attorney-at-law, devoted decades to social action for the benefit of victims of the Holocaust, members of the Jewish Social and Cultural Association in Poland and, above all, to Jewish veterans.
Józef Hen, one of the greatest writers of our time, personifies – in the opinion of the medal award committee – the Jewish veteran more than anyone else. In his laudation of the medal recipient, Marian Turski reminded the audience that Józef Hen sought to enlist in the Anders Army and ultimately returned to Poland with the Berling Army. As a writer, he described the fate of veterans in many of his works.
The Association of Jewish Veterans and Victims of in the Second World War came into being in 1991. Its members include former soldiers of various military units, prisoners of ghettos and Nazi concentration and extermination camps, those who survived the occupation on the so-called Aryan papers, those interned in Siberian labour camps as well as exiles and fugitives to the Soviet Union.
The honorary medal was minted at the Association’s initiative on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising. It is presented to those who have made outstanding contributions to the work of reconciliation between Poles and Jews, to nurturing the history of Polish Jews and to toward overcoming nationalism and antisemitism.
The presidium of the Association is at the same time the medal award committee. Over the twenty years of the Association’s activity, the committee was chaired by Arnold Mostowicz, Ludwik Krasucki and Tomasz Miedziński respectively. Marian Kalwary is the newly elected chairman of the Association. At present, the Association has 250 members.