13-31 December 2017
10.00 am to 5.00 pm (except Mondays and designated holidays)
Victoria Memorial Hall (Entrance Hall)
1, Queen’s Way,
Kolkata – 700071
The exhibition was authored by Dr. Mateusz Szpytma, Deputy President, Instytut Pamięci Narodowej / Institute of National Remembrance (IPN).
The Polish Institute, in collaboration with the Victoria Memorial, Kolkata, is presenting an exhibition titled “The Good Samaritans from Markowa” which took place at the Entrance Hall Gallery of the Victoria Memorial from 13th to 31st December 2017. The exhibition depicts the story of the Ulma Family – Poles murdered by the Germans for aiding Jews during World War II. The exhibition also throws light on the Polish and Jewish community of Markowa and the reality of German occupation in Poland where any help offered to Jews was prohibited and prosecuted by death penalty.
In 1939, approximately 4300 Poles and 120 Jews lived in Markowa, a village situated in South- Eastern Poland. The majority of Jewish inhabitants were murdered by the German troops in 1942. Nine Polish families, despite the constant fear of being caught and killed, continued to harbor Jews. One of them was the Ulma family. On 24th March 1944, the soldiers murdered the entire Ulma family including the Ulma’s six children and the 8 Jews they were sheltering.
The opening of the exhibition was held at 5:30 pm on 12 December 2017 at the aforementioned location and will be complemented by presentations by Dr. Matuesz Szpytma, the Deputy President of Instytut Pamięci Narodowej / Institute of National Remembrance in Warsaw and Mr. Jakub Pawłowski, Specialist for education and popularization from the Muzeum Polaków Ratujących Żydów / Museum of Poles Saving Jews, Poland.
Mateusz Szpytma (born in 1975) is a graduate of history and political science from the Jagiellonian University. Under the guidance of Prof. Andrzej Chwalba, he defended his doctoral thesis in modern Polish history at the same university. Dr Szpytma has been involved with the Instytut Pamięci Narodowej / Institute of National Remembrance for the majority of his professional working life. In the years 2015-2016, he was the Director of the Ulma Family Museum of Poles Saving Jews in World War II in Markowa. Since 23 July 2016, Dr. Mateusz Szpytma has been the Deputy President of the Instytut Pamięci Narodowej / Institute of National Remembrance (IPN).A strong focal point of Dr Szpytma’s research and educational work is the story of the Ulma family, murdered by the Germans, along with the Jews they had been hiding, on 24 March 1944 in Markowa. In addition to books and numerous articles on the subject, published also abroad, he is the founder and creator (including the curator of the permanent exhibition) of the Muzeum Polaków Ratujących Żydów/ Museum of Poles Saving Jews in Markowa.
Jakub Pawłowski is a historian, regionalist, museum expert and journalist. He is the author of several hundred press articles and over one hundred book reviews. He has been employed at the Muzeum Polaków Ratujących Żydów / Museum of Poles Saving Jews as a specialist for education and popularization of the leading theme of the establishment. He has written movie screenplays and historical re-enactments and is the initiator of various cultural events.
For more information on the National Institute of Remembrance and Museum of Poles Saving Jews, kindly visit the links below: