The IPN exhibition "Death for Humanity. The Ulma family" was officially opened at the St. Dorothy Parish Church in Markowa, 9 September 2023
The exhibition, prepared by the Rzeszów Branch of the Institute of National Remembrance presents the fate of a seemingly ordinary Polish family, yet at the same time a family which was exceptional. It was a family whose lifeline was subjected to the vicissitudes of cruel war and occupation. Józef and Wiktoria Ulma did not passively submit to the course of history. They became its active participants, noticing other people who needed to be helped. They stood on the side of good and shared that good with others. In the face of the terror of German occupation, nationality, religion and cultural differences became irrelevant. It was humanity which remained important. In their desire to protect life, they themselves lost theirs. The exhibition, prepared in Polish and English, includes dozens of photos and documents. Some of them have been published for the first time.
We are now in one of the most important places for the Ulma family. It was here that Józef and Wiktoria were baptized, they got married in this very church and baptized all of their children here. Besides their home, this was the most important place in their lives. They had many times heard that God had created man in His image and likeness - said Mateusz Szpytma Ph.D., Deputy President of the Institute of National Remembrance and co-author of the exhibition.
Władysław Ulma, Józef's brother, when asked by a journalist why Józef and Wictoria welcomed Jews into their home and persevered for several months in this resolve, answered: "Because they were human beings in the full sense of the word." And that's what this exhibition is about. About the humanity of the Ulma family and the fact that this is such a great value that they were ready to sacrifice their lives for it. That is why they are heroes today, important for all of us, and from tomorrow they will also be Blessed – Deputy President Szpytma stressed.
The opening of the exhibition was attended, among others, by Rev. Prof. Waldemar Janiga, representing Archbishop Adam Szal, the Parish priest in Markowa, Rev. Roman Chowaniec, and Władyslaw Ortyl, Marshal of the Podkarpackie Province.
Tomorrow's beatification, today's solemn events to perpetuate the memory of the Ulma family, the memory of this heroic act, but also to awaken identity, to awaken human consciences, an identity that is rooted in the faith in Christ, but also in the beautiful Polish culture, in Polish tradition and customs. (...) Let this exhibition be a praise of humanity (…) - Rev. Prof. Janiga said.
Dariusz Iwaneczko, Ph.D., Director of the IPN Branch Office in Rzeszow, gave a speech about the exhibition and the Ulma family.
View selected panels from the exhibition: