A witness to the Holocaust, he was active in the “Żegota” Council to Aid Jews. A prisoner of Auschwitz, participant of the Warsaw Uprising, Bartoszewski was an advocate of the Polish-German reconciliation after the war had ended. In the subsequent years, he opposed the rebirth of anti-Semitism and anti-Jewish demonstrations. He opposed the dictatorship imposed on his homeland and the Stalinist ideology, for which he was incarcerated twice in the period 1946-1954.
Courage? I don’t know what it means. There is no such a thing. In my mind, you do whatever you feel imperative to be done
He co-founded the Jewish Combat Organisation and – following the death of Mordechaj Anielewicz – became the leader of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising. After the war, he consistently refused to support the new administration.
On Sunday, 25 August 1968, she took her 3 month old son, left the house and headed towards the Red Square. She hid banners under the pram’s mattress; one of them read in Czech: “Long live free and independent Czechoslovakia,” the other: “For your freedom and ours.”
When people are surrounded by death, they become thick-skinned. I was terrified that I would become a thug after the war, simply because I used to break the law every single day
A 14-year-old declared a personal war on Hitler – she joined the underground. She was a liaison, distributor, interpreter of English, guide for the refugees. She participated in executions on traitors sentenced to death by the court of the Polish Underground State. Simultaneously, she cooperated with the “Żegota” Council to Aid Jews.
Hryhorenko, who came from a peasant family from Zaporizhia, became one of the leading figures of the dissident movement in the USRR. He was in favour of establishing a committee of human rights’ defenders. He was a non-official leader of the Tatars’ struggle to return to their historic homeland (they had been deported from Crimea in 1944).
He protected Jews, Poles and Ukrainians. He resided together with his wife in Kupychiv, a Czech settlement in Volhynia. The wartime, first the Soviet, then German occupation, the massacres of Poles in Volhynia – all these were covered in Jelinek’s memoirs. He witnessed much atrocities and yet he never remained indifferent.
My faith keeps telling me that humanity has committed another original sin […] This sin will haunt the humankind till the end of its days. This sin is haunting me. And I hope it will never stop
He wanted to be a diplomat. The Second World War made it impossible for him to pursue his dream. Instead, Jan Kozielewski, aka Karski, became the most famous emissary between the Polish Underground State and the Polish Government in Exile. In the summer of 1942, Karski undertook his most important mission – to deliver to London information on the situation in the country, including materials which documented the extermination policy of the occupying power towards the Jews.
Why the best form of gratitude should not be a treaty on the prohibition of genocide, […] as a collective recognition that she [the mother] and millions of others have not died in vain?
He coined the term “genocide” and took effective action to include it in the international law. In 1948, the UN General Assembly adopted the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crimes of Genocide, called the Lemkin’s Convention.
Ewelina Lipko-Lipczyńska, a Polish language teacher, helped Jews find hideouts during World War II. She emigrated from Poland in 1969, in the aftermath of the anti-Semitic campaign launched by Polish communist government.
In Rwanda, she was dubbed the angel of the poor. The Nyamata mission had been the home of Antonia Locatelli since the 1970s. Back then, she was a member of the Congregationis Sororum Ospitalarium a Beatae Mariae. She founded and managed a school for girls 30 km from the Kigali, capital of the country.
In the language of Xhosa, the people he stemmed from, his second name – Rolihlahla – means ‘troublesome.’ Nelson Mandela was a source of troubles for almost a century, fighting for his own freedom and the freedom of others. He was the only black student at the university. He was active in the organization of the black inhabitants of the Republic of South Africa (RSA) – the African National Congress, clandestinely in the South African Communist Party. He was a co-founder of the militant group Umkhonte we Sizwe (Spear of the Nation), he organized demonstrations. Being a lawyer, he offered legal advice to the victims of Apartheid.
He was given the order to participate in a massacre. He refused, and managed to prevent murders on site or death marches to the Syrian dessert of several thousand of Armenians, even if the resistance was short-lived.
He documented the crimes and ethnic purges in Bosnia and Hercegovina for over three years. In July 1995, as a sign of protest against the world’s passivity, Mazowiecki resigned from the function of a special rapporteur of the Human Rights Commission of the United Nations. In his ultimate report he included the accounts of survivors from Srebrenica.
Witold Pilecki spent two years and nine months in Auschwitz. It was his own initiative. He used to send information on the functioning of the camp in reports addressed to the Home Army Headquarters. He created a conspiratorial network within the camp, capable of armed resistance.
I am trying not to let us forget the fact that our army is waging this foul war. That is why the generals, officers, and some of my colleagues say I should be “liquidated.” But I shall not give up
Chechnya became her calling. She was a correspondent of the opposition Novaya Gazeta bi-weekly from the Second Chechen War. She exposed the crimes of the Russian forces and the Chechen units led by Ramzan Kadyrov allied with the Russians, the crimes of Chechen partisans and the situation of the Russian recruits. She also supported the movement of mothers defending their children conscripted in the army.
Who is the subject of history? […] I am convinced that it is a human being. Not a country, not a state, not a “power”, not a “nation”, but simply a human being
The founder of the Memorial Society which documents and propagates knowledge on the repressions and crimes of the totalitarian regime in the USSR. A guardian of memory of the victims of the regime, he testified with his involvement to the existence of free Russia.
I will not be able to return to Sweden without being sure that I have done everything in human power to save as many Jews as possible
As a secretary of the Swedish Embassy in Budapest during World War II, he undertook efforts to save Hungarian Jews who were being deported to extermination camps in German-occupied Poland.
The bones of those wretched souls, whose silent lament cries out to us from these photographs, should be incarnated in our hearts in order to remind us of the time of our ultimate downfall
As a volunteer paramedic on a mission to the Middle East during World War I, he undertook an independent investigation into the murder of Armenians in the Ottoman Empire. He took notes and photos which he then showed to the public upon his return, calling for the cessation of the slaughter.
During the interwar period, he worked as a chaplain at the Centre for the Blind in Laski near Warsaw. He was a forerunner of ecumenical approach – he studied Judaism and got engaged in inter-religious initiatives. During the Second World War, he cooperated with the “Żegota” Council to Aid Jews and the Front for the Rebirth of Poland. He was a chaplain of the Home Army Main Headquarters, wounded during the Warsaw Uprising. Towards the end of the 1960s Rev. Zieja got involved in the anti-communist opposition.
[…] this is a matter of my conscience; I express my thanks for Your Excellency’s kindness – I am aware of the consequences and I am ready to face them myself
As the only hierarch in the Polish Catholic church, he did not sign the declaration of the Polish Bishops’ Conference approving the arrest of the Primate Stefan Wyszyński by the authorities of communist Poland.