23 October 2018 - 15 Heshvan 5779 - ט"ו חשון ה' אלפים תשע"ט
Warsaw church named “House of Life” for helping Jews E-mail

The Roman Catholic All Saints Church in Warsaw, which provided help to Jews in WWII during the Nazi German occupation of Poland, has been recognised as a “House of Life”.

A ceremony to unveil a commemorative plaque in the church on 7 June was attended by representatives of the Polish government and Jewish organisations, Catholic Church leaders, the diplomatic corps and the International Raoul Wallenberg Foundation.

The Church of All Saints, located within the perimeter of what was the city’s Jewish Ghetto during WWII, provided wide-ranging assistance to Jews.

It issued false baptismal certificates to hundreds of Jews who wanted to escape from the ghetto, offered meals and accommodation on the parish premises, and placed Jewish children in an orphanage set up in a Warsaw suburb in a house that belonged to the family of the parish priest, Father Marceli Godlewski.

In 2009, Father Godlewski was posthumously awarded a Righteous Among the Nations medal from the Yad Vashem Institute in Jerusalem.

Samuel Tenembaum, the son of the founder of the Raoul Wallenberg Foundation, said during the ceremony that after the Nazi German invasion of Poland, Father Godlewski could not stand idly by. Instead, he “provided shelter and food to Jews within the walls of this church, even though he realised that offering any kind of assistance to Jews was punishable by death.”

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