“Called by Name” is a project devoted to persons of Polish nationality who were murdered for providing help to Jews during the German occupation.

The debate about how to commemorate the victims of the Second World War has been ongoing for years in Poland and other European countries. But there was no project that allowed us to commemorate those Poles who had been murdered for hiding their Jewish neighbors. That was the inspiration for the Pilecki Institute's “Called by Name” project.

There is a fundamental difference between the administrative penalty, the risk of being imprisoned, which could be imposed on people who helped Jews in Western Europe, and the torture and death that were the lot of those who provided assistance in occupied Poland. And there is a difference between individual and collective responsibility. These distinctions must not be blurred. The memory of murdered Poles, the non-Jewish victims of the Holocaust, should serve to unite people of different faiths and nationalities. It should unite the entire free, democratic world. We must remember them for the sake of their families, who still live in Poland and were forced to mourn the loss of their loved ones in solitude.

therefore we have to know

to count exactly

call by the first name

provide for a journey

Zbigniew Herbert

The name of the project – “Called by Name” – references a poem by Zbigniew Herbert, Mr. Cogito on the Need for Precision, which underscores the importance of a precise estimation of the victims of the “struggle against inhuman authority”.

The Pilecki Institute has decided to develop a cohesive and legible model for commemorating such people and locations where executions took place by working together with local communities: a stone with the following short inscription. The plaque has also been provided with a QR which makes it possible to obtain more information about the event.

On 24 March – the National Day of Remembrance of Poles who Saved Jews – two plaques were unveiled in Sadowne: one dedicated to the Lubkiewicz family, and the second to the residents of the commune who were murdered during the Nazi occupation. The unveiling of the plaque dedicated to the Lubkiewicz family at once marks the beginning of a broader campaign of commemoration of people who gave aid and succor during the German occupation. So far we have commemorated 17 polish citizens. Successive ceremonies have been planned for subsequent years, and in their course the Pilecki Institute will devote particular attention to presenting the stories of those who paid the supreme price for acts of solidarity with their Jewish co-citizens.

Project coordinator: Agnieszka Dąbek; zawolani@instytutpileckiego.pl