Commemorating Poles murdered for helping Jews

"Called by Name" is a project conducted by the Pilecki Institute devoted to Poles murdered for helping Jews during the German occupation. The name of the project is a reference to a poem by Zbigniew Herbert, “Mr. Cogito on the need for precision”, which emphasizes the importance of remembering all the victims of crimes.

The exhibition not only tells the story of Poles murdered for trying to save Jews during WWII, but also reminds visitors about the inhumane living conditions imposed on Polish territory by the Nazi occupier.

The German soldiers were executing not only the people they accused of helping Jews, but also their entire families. Then they seized their homes and plundered them in search of valuables. Those fortunate enough to survive had to live in fear for long years after the end of the war. Many of these heroes remained unknown. The main goal of the “Called by name” project is to change that and show their faces.

Throughout the period of occupation the Germans perpetrated shocking acts of barbarity. In the Polish capital their culmination were the crimes committed during the Warsaw uprising. On the initiative of the city’s inhabitants, a plaque has been unveiled at the Polytechnic's Square, where the Warsaw University of technology is located, commemorating the Home Army soldiers taken prisoner after the Uprising on October 2nd, 1944.

Over 400,000 prisoners were taken to the Dulag 121 holding camp, where commemorations are held every year. Home Army soldiers as well as civilians were subsequently transferred as slave labour deep into Germany or to concentration camps.

Many of those responsible have never paid for their crimes.