Terms and conditions
The medal of “The Righteous Among the Ukrainians” is sponsored by the Pro Publico Bono RP – a foundation based in Poznan.
The aim of the award is to deny any kind of nationalist movements characterized by chauvinism which give the right to murder representatives of other countries – ethnical cleansing similar to genocide.
The award consists of a honorary diploma, medal and a statue.
Who can be awarded.
This is a special title. A person who is recognized as the “The Righteous Among the Ukrainians” is given a medal with this very inscription, a statue and a honorary diploma. Every person recognized as such is entitled to get a relevant certificate from the foundation.
If the person is no longer alive, a relative can ask for awarding her/him the title.
Awarding the title of “The Righteous Among the Ukrainians” will be continued as long as the need for such initiative will be supported by the quality arguments and fulfils certain criteria.
The crucial criteria are:
- The rescued person is Polish, the rescuer is Ukrainian.
- There has been no compensation for rescuing the life.
- The rescuing put at risk the life or freedom of the recurer.
The committee of “The Righteous Among the Ukrainians”
A committee – a group of 11 people who adopt decisions about awarding medals, titles and prizes by consensus.
The presidium of the committee comprises the chairman, two vice-chairman’s and the members of the committee.
The chairman shall be the person authorized by the foundation’s management or the founder.
The chairman of the committee is also mandated to represent the committee outside and sign any documents related to the functioning of the committee.
The chairman of the committee may delegate his powers of representation to another person providing she/he submits a written request. This person shall be appointed by the committee and on application of the chairman. Moreover, the committee as well as its other members have to be informed about the matter.
The vice-chairman’s of the committee are appointed by the chairman or elected.
The members of the committee are appointed by:
- socio-political organizations
- government, business and educational institutions
- non-governmental organizations.
The committee comprises also volunteers.
They receive cases for evaluation and present their recommendations to the committee. Afterwards, the issue is discussed extensively by the committee. Any decisions made by the committee cannot be validated without the chairman’s approval.
The description of the historical event
It has been so many years since the climax of the Massacres of Poles in Volhynia and Eastern Galicia – an ethnical cleansing carried out by the Ukrainian Insurgent Army (OUN-UPA). However, not every Ukrainian person took part in murdering Poles. Some of them focused on helping their relatives and neighbors.
On the one hand, Ukrainian people were manipulated by the new ideology which was also supported by the local clergymen. On the other hand, they frequently experienced psychological pressure which aimed at cutting off from Poles, denying the family ties or marriage vows and, finally, provocations to take active part in the genocide. What is left from those days shows that the co-participants (or even the main perpetrators) of the massacres of Poles were their neighbors or people related to them.
The refusal to take part in murdering one’s own family almost always resulted in being killed. In particular, an Ukrainian person who did not want to hurt her/his relatives had to observe them being killed and, afterwards, would be shot herself/himself. Moreover, Polish-Ukrainian families were also “hunted for” by people who were not related to them. The further destiny of the Ukrainian spouse depended on the her/his attitude as well as the degree of nationalistic prejudice of the perpetrators themselves. They either treated her/him as the traitor of the nation or recognized ethnic solidarity.
From the point of view of Ukrainian nationalists the help given to the Poles constituted a collaboration with an enemy and an action directed against the national interests. Therefore, it was frequently punished by death. Having this in mind, it shows how heroic a person must have been to lend a helping hand to the exterminated Poles.
The researchers examining the life of “The Righteous Ukrainians” determined several activities typical for this kind of behavior.
In particular, they constitute a warning, indicating the escape routes, or misleading the perpetrators (e.g., stating that a person is Ukrainian). There is no doubt that the most heroic activities involved hiding the victims, supplying them with clothes and food or assisting them with getting to a safe place. Moreover, the help also included taking care of the orphans, the injured or preparing a funeral. What is more, in the context of omnipresent campaign against Poles, of crucial important was also a public protests in opposition to the criminal activities of perpetrators.