Polish airport named after Ulma family who gave their lives to save Jews during WWII

Wiktoria Ulma with her children photopraphed by her husband, Józef. (Source: Wikipedia)
By Grzegorz Adamczyk
3 Min Read

Every year, on March 24, Poland marks the National Day of Remembrance for Poles who rescued Jews during the German occupation. On that day in 1944, the Polish Ulma family was killed by the Germans for sheltering Jews. In September 2023, Pope Francis beatified the Ulma family.

Early on March 24, 1944, a Nazi patrol surrounded the home of the Ulma family in the southeastern village of Markowa, where Wiktoria and Józef Ulma had been hiding eight Jews. For this, they were executed together with their six children along with the Jews they sheltered. At the time of her execution, Wiktoria was eight months pregnant, and her eldest daughter was eight years old.

On Sunday, the Rzeszow-Jasionka Airport in southeastern Poland was named after the Ulma family. During the official ceremony, President Andrzej Duda said that Poland was the only country during World War II where Nazi Germans punished any form of assisting Jews by killing the helpers and their families.

“The decision to name the Rzeszów-Jasionka airport after the Ulma family stands as a lasting tribute,” President Duda affirmed, honoring their bravery and selflessness for generations to come.

President Duda added, “From this very land, the Ulma family emerged, displaying what was truly remarkable in Europe and the world during World War II – an unparalleled readiness to make sacrifices for others,” proving the humanity, dignity and faith of so many Poles who sheltered Jews despite being aware of the threat of death for doing so. 

The president thanked the authorities of the Podkarpackie region and the Rzeszów-Jasionka Airport for the initiative to name the airport after the Ulma family, emphasizing the uniqueness of this place.

“Since the Russian aggression against Ukraine, this airport in Jasionka has become a support center for Ukraine in every possible way, including military support, humanitarian support, and also political support, because it is here that politicians from all over the world arrive, who then continue on to Kyiv. This is a place that is truly known around the world today,” he stated.

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