The exhibition reached Israel by the initiation of the Polish Embassy in Israel, and the Polish Institute of National Remembrance, and was open to the public at the Massuah Institute for Holocaust Studies, as of November 18, 2009, and closed in January
In addition to the Polish population, Ukrainian and Jewish minorities lived in Malapolska (Lesser Poland), situated in the south west of Poland.
The objective of the exhibition is to describe the characters of the Polish population of Malapolska, who risked their lives in order to save and help Jews. They gave their help in different way, such as marking out escape routes from the persecution of the occupied forces, through providing food and board, finding work and a temporary or permanent place of live, and producing “Aryan documents.”
The exhibition comprises 48 plaques, beginning with one that shows the life of Poles and Jews under the German occupation. Other exhibits are photographs of Poles, residents of Malapolska, who received the reward of Righteous Among Nations from Yad Vashem, for the help they gave Jews. A prominent place in the exhibition is given to Poles who saved Jews who were not granted the Righteous Among Nations award for various reasons.
The next part of the exhibition is devoted to the work of saving and assisting Jews, organized by the Cracow branch of Djzgotta, the council for saving Jews, and mixed groups of religious and secular people, among them also those granted the Righteous Among Nations award.
Poles who gave Jews shelter were doubtlessly unusually brave and daring. In addition, they had to be ingenious and resourceful. These were essential in order to prepare safe hiding places to suit the available conditions and possibilities. Several authentic hiding places are presented in the exhibition.
Separate plaques are devoted to the Josef and Victoria Ullam from Markova near Lancut. Between 1942 and 1944 the Ullams hide eight Jews. On March 24, 1944 the Germans shot Josef, his pregnant wife and their six children, the youngest of whom was about a year old, the oldest eight. Together with them the Germans shot all the Jews whom the Ullams had hid.
Photographs of Jews with their Polish saviors, shown in the exhibit, were gathered from museums and archives throughout Poland, as well as from private collections. Some of these photos are shown here for the first time, among them photos of Poles who paid with their lives, and were shot be Germans, for the help they offered the Jews.
The exhibit also shows documents and testimonies, among them an original document about a death sentence delivered by a special German court to Poles who hid Jews, German poster declaring the carrying out of a death sentence delivered to Poles who hid Jews, and lists of residents of Malapolska who were murdered by the Germans because they helped Jews.
The exhibition first opened on the 2008 International Holocaust Day - January 27 in the market square in Cracow. The next time it was shown in the Polish Senate between June 25, 2008 and July 5, 2008. Since then it has been shown in different areas of Poland and has commanded a great deal of attention.
The exhibition was prepared by the Djashov branch of the Institute of National Remembrance. Some of the investigations were prepared with the help of Institute of National Remembrance in Cracow.
In November 2009 the exhibition opened in Massuah. Hundreds of students and visitor toured it. The following guests of honor attended the opening: Deputy Prime Minister of Poland and Minister of Finance Mr. Vladimir Pollack, the ambassador of Poland in Israel, Agnieszka Magdziak-Miszewska, head of the Polish Institute of National Remembrance, and Director General of the Ministry of Culture and Sports, Orly Fruman. Numerous Holocaust survivors also attended the event.