Polish rescuers of Jews celebrated as heroes

By Updated at 2012-07-15 18:04:18 +0000


WARSAW, Poland (AP) — Dozens of elderly Poles who helped save Jews during World War II have gathered in Warsaw to be recognized by Jewish representatives who hailed them for their heroism.

The meeting, over a kosher lunch Sunday in an upscale hotel, comes amid a growing appreciation in Poland for the thousands of people who risked their lives to help Jews during the brutal six-year-long Nazi occupation of Poland.

Such people, almost all of them Roman Catholics, deny that they are heroes and say they only did what needed to be done.

But Jewish leaders, including Poland's chief rabbi, the Israeli ambassador and the head of an organization that helps the "Righteous Among the Nations," praised the roughly 55 former rescuers who were present, a number dwindling every year.