Markowa, Poland — An obscure village in a remote corner of southeast Poland, the kind you can drive through in less than a minute, was in the spotlight recently. On March 17, an array of personalities descended on Markowa for the official opening of the Ulma Family Museum of Poles Saving Jews in the Second World War.
The ceremony, covered in minute detail by the Polish media and broadcast abroad in 11 languages, was attended by Poland’s newly elected president, Andrzej Duda, who praised Poles who helped Jews during the Nazi occupation, Michael Schudrich, the chief rabbi of Poland, who affixed a mezuzah on the museum’s door, and a contingent of Polish bishops and foreign diplomats, including the Israeli ambassador to Poland, Anna Azari.
As might have been expected, the event elicited local interest. Hundreds of townspeople gathered in an open field to watch the ceremony on a big screen outside the enclosed VIP area, where more than 1,000 people sat.