The 19th annual "Preserving Memory" awards honoring non-Jewish Poles who preserve, protect, maintain, and promote Jewish heritage in Poland were presented at a ceremony at the Galicia Jewish Museum in Krakow on June 26.
The awards were established in 1998 by the American lawyer Michael Traison, who has an office in Warsaw and spends part of the year in Poland. To date more than 200 people, mostly volunteers and mostly from small, far-flung towns, have been honored for activities ranging from cleaning up Jewish cemeteries to running Jewish museums to carrying out school projects on Jewish history and memory.
This year's honorees included:
Special Lifetime Achievement award, recognizing her work in fostering Polish-Jewish relations and educating young people about Jewish culture.
Anna Małgozata Bagińska
Honored for teaching about Jewish history, including encouraging her students to make an award-winning documentary film about Jewish life and culture in their hometown, Pisz.
Honored for his research, writing and teaching about the Holocaust.
Honored for his work fostering Jewish-Christian dialogue.
Honored for his work in commemorating Jewish history and preserving Jewish heritage, particularly in the rescue of Jewish gravestones and construction of a memorial in the destroyed Jewish cemetery in Pułtusk.
An artist, social activist and historian honored for maintaining the Jewish cemetery and synagogue in Krzepice with the involvement of local students and writing about local Jewish history.
A PhD student honored for many projects honoring and teaching about Jewish history and heritage in the area around Nowy Sącz.
The former mayor of Jedwabne (scene of a 1941 massacre of Jews by their neighbors), honored for his role in commemorating this pogrom and local Jewish history.