Today, (24th April) will see March of the Living 2022 begin with a very special inauguration of Jozef Wegrzynowski as a ‘Righteous Amongst the Nations’. The award, designated by Yad Vashem in Jerusalem, is reserved for non-Jews whose actions in the Holocaust directly saved the lives of Jewish families from the Nazis, often at great personal risk.
Wegrzynowski, together with Witold Trzeciakowski, saved the life of Max Ostro, the father of UK-based philanthropist Maurice Ostro. In addition to the award to Wegrzynowski, Yad Vashem have written to the family of Trzeciakowski in appreciation of the important part their family played in keeping Max alive during the Holocaust.
Speaking in advance of the ceremony, Maurice Ostro said, “My family and I, and all our future generations, only exist because of the actions of people who took personal risks to save my father’s life in the Holocaust. For the good of generations present and future, we must remember the impact of such acts of kindness in times of darkness. If you save one life, you save the world.”
Sunday’s ceremony, which will take place in Warsaw at the start of the annual March of the Living, will be attended by the Ostro family as well as two great-grandchildren of Jozef Wegrzynowski and the daughter-in-law and grandson of Witold Trzeciakowski. Members of the Ostro, Wegrzynowski and Trzeciakowski families will all speak at the event. The Chief Rabbi of Poland and the Israeli Ambassador will also make presentations.
Scott Saunders, Founder and Chairman of March of the Living UK, commented, “Max Ostro survived the Holocaust with the help of amazing acts of kindness from Jozef Wegrzynowski and Witold Trzeciakowski, who risked everything to do so. The lessons of these acts of kindness from Righteous amongst the Nations are such an important lesson in today’s world. One of the key themes for this year’s March of the Living is passing the torch of memory. I cannot find a more fitting way to do this than the family of Max Ostro coming together with four generations of Jozef Wegrzynowski and Witold Trzeciakowski who will tell of the miraculous story of saving Max.
March of the Living UK is honoured to be hosting this important event which will see these two family’s recognised as Righteous Amongst The Nations.”