March 24, 2020National Day of Remembrance of Poles who rescued Jews under the German occupation

The Ulma family. Photo:

Established on the initiative of the President of the Republic of Poland in 2017, on the anniversary of the death of the Ulma family from Markowa.

March 24, 1944 Execution at Markowa

As a result of a denunciation, German military police shot dead the Ulma family in Markowa, i.e. pregnant Wiktoria, her husband Józef and their 6 children: Stanisława, Barbara, Władysław, Franciszek, Antoni and Maria. Together with them, 8 Jews from the Goldman, Grünfeld, and Didner families, who were hiding at their place, were executed.

Photo source:

The Ulma family

Józef and Wiktoria Ulma lived in the village of Markowa in what before the war was the Lwów Voivodeship, and now is the Podkarpackie Voivodeship. The village had four and a half thousand residents.

During the German occupation, most probably in late 1942, despite poverty and risk, the Ulmas gave shelter to eight Jews: Saul Goldman and his four sons (in Łańcut, they were referred to as the Szalls), and two daughters and a grand-daughter of Chaim Goldman from Markowa – Lea (Layka) Didner with her daughter (name unknown) and Genia (Golda) Grünfeld. The Ulmas were probably denounced to the Germans for harbouring Jews by Włodzimierz Leś, a navy-blue policeman from Łańcut. On March 24, 1944, in the morning, five German gendarmes and several navy-blue policemen arrived in front of the house of the Ulmas. They were commanded by Lt. Eilert Dieken. They first shot the Jews, and next Józef and Wiktoria (who was in the seventh month of pregnancy). Then, Dieken decided to kill the children. Within a few minutes, seventeen people lost their lives (including the baby whom Wiktoria started giving birth to at the moment of the execution).
About twenty other Jews were sheltered by Poles in Markowa and survived.

In 1995, Wiktoria and Józef Ulma were posthumously awarded the “Righteous Among the Nations” title. In 2010, they were honored with the Commander’s Cross of the Order of Polonia Restituta by the President of the Republic of Poland, Lech Kaczyński. In 2003, the Ulmas’ beatification process was initiated in the Diocese of Przemyśl, and is currently underway at the Vatican.

Source: Museum of Poles Saving Jews in World War II – Museum of Poles Saving Jews in World War II (