The Association Jewish Combatants and Victims of World War II (Polish: Stowarzyszenie Żydów Kombatantów i Poszkodowanych w II Wojnie Światowej) was founded in 1991. It brings together members of the military formations, former prisoners of ghettos and Nazi death camps, Jews who survived the Holocaust by acquiring the false "Aryan" identity, as well as the Sybiracy – exiles and refugees to the Soviet Union.
Between 1991 and 1993, more than 1,800 people joined the Association, including over 1,100 soldiers of September 1939, the 1st Tadeusz Kościuszko Infantry Division, the Polish First and Second Armies, guerillas from the Jewish, Polish, Belarusian, Ukrainian and Lithuanian units, three guerrillas of Josip Broz-Tito, five insurgents from the Warsaw ghetto, four insurgents from the ghetto in Bialystok, eleven insurgents of the Polish Armed Forces in the Soviet Union (the so-called Anders Army), two paratroopers of the 1st Independent Parachute Brigade commanded by General Sosabowski, three soldiers of the Jewish Palestinian Legion and four soldiers of the U.S. Army who permanently settled in Poland in 1990s.
The main aims of the Association are social involvement and the protection of the interests of Jewish combatants and victims of the Holocaust, remembrance of the Jewish military action and struggle for freedom and human dignity during World War II in guerilla forces, ghettos, concentration camps, labor camps, Soviet forced labor camps and in exile. The Association also fights discrimination, xenophobia, anti-Semitism and cases of desecration of synagogues, cemeteries, and other religious objects or facilities. It cooperates with similar organisations in the country and abroad. Between 1992 and 2002 the primary goal of the Association was to obtain material compensation and moral satisfaction for the wrong and suffering done by the Government of the Federal Republic of Germany.
The Association has achieved such goals as co-developing and an active participation in the management bodies of the Foundation "Polish-German Reconciliation" (Polish: Fundacja „Polsko-Niemieckie Pojednanie”) and obtaining compensation from Germany for about 1,650 members of the Association of Jewish Combatants and Victims of World War II and the Association of "Children of the Holocaust" (Polish: Stowarzyszenie „Dzieci Holokaustu”), obtaining the rights and privileges of veterans and victims of oppression for more than 350 people, cooperation with other organisations on the inclusion of persons awarded the Righteous Among the Nations medal in the regulations of the act declaring them to be repressed and giving them high state awards; publication of three volumes of memoirs Losy żydowskie. Świadectwo żywych[1.1] as well as three volumes of Żydzi w walce 1939–1945[1.2].
Moreover, thanks to the Association, on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising a medal of honour was minted. It is awarded every year in April to honour those who have contributed to the reconciliation between Poles and Jews, nurtured the history of Polish Jews and combated nationalism and anti-Semitism. The number of people awarded the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising medal exceeds 200.
Since its formation twenty years ago the position of the Association chairman has been occupied by Arnold Mostowicz, Ludwik Krasucki, and currently by Tomasz Miedziński[1.3]. In 2014 it had 780 members.
Association of Jewish Combatants and Victims of World War II
ul. Twarda 6
Tel. 22 620 62 11
E-mail: [email protected]