People like Ładoś Group 'have to be recognised’

The Pilecki Institute has released a video marking the first Virtus et Fraternitas medals presented on Wednesday.

Virtus et Fraternitas medals awarded by President Duda

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The video presents statements of three people, whose family was saved from death thanks to the help of others.

Two of these people: Leonie de Picciotto (born Leonie Lesser) and Uri Strauss, where rescued, because they received Paraguayan passports forged by Polish diplomats led by ambassador Aleksander Ładoś, while the third person, Wiesław Tokarczyk, is alive thanks to Anatoliy Giergiel, a Ukrainian man, who came to his family one day and warned them: “tonight they are going to murder you.”

“These Polish diplomats were helping other people. People like that have to be recognised,” Mr Strauss said.

“Even in the worst times and against all odds courageous-spirited human beings can change the fate of others,” Ms de Picciotto said.

“I am alive because of friendship and solidarity between Poles and Ukrainians, between neighbours,” Mr Tokarczuk emphasised.

The first ever Virtus et Fraternitas (Virtue and Brotherhood) medals honouring 20th-century rescuers who saved Poles or people of Polish citizenship from death or oppression were presented by President Andrzej Duda on Wednesday.