June 2, 2018




The Vichy government under Petain, collaborated with the Nazi regime. They decreed the Second Statut des Juifs which systematized the registrations of Jews across the county and in Vichy-North Africa. The Jews in unoccupied France were not obliged to wear the yellow star of David badge, because the registration records enforced by the French were sufficient to provide the Nazis with information about their whereabouts for future round-ups and deportations.


Liquidation of the Lwów Ghetto:  The Lwów Ghetto was one of the largest Jewish ghettos established by Nazi Germany after the joint Nazi-Soviet invasion of Poland. Lwow had a Jewish population of over 110,000 before the outbreak of World War II on September 1, 1939.  By the time the Nazis advanced toward the city and Jews fled from Nazi-occupied western Poland,  the Jewish population of Lwow increased to over 220,000.  The Lwow Ghetto was set up in the latter part of 1941, and was liquidated in June 1943. When the Nazis entered the Ghetto there was intermittent acts of armed resistance from the Jews; other Jews hid in bunkers they previously prepared. Despite their efforts to save themselves, the Germans pumped gasoline into the buildings and lit it, in order to force them to come out of hiding. Some Jews managed to escape, others were captured and sent to concentration camps at Belzec and Janowska.  When the Red Army entered the city in July 1944, there were about 200 Jews remaining (other sources report 900)  Since 1945 the city has been called Lviv, and is part of the Ukraine.


John Paul II arrived in Poland for his first papal homecoming. More than 10 million Polish people turned out to meet him as the pontiff toured the country. The rest watched the live TV coverage of his pilgrimage. The high point of the trip was the pope's farewell address in Warsaw, when he said: “Let your Spirit descend and renew the land....this land!” Those words instilled new hope in his countrymen. A year later, a strike wave erupted which would snowball into the Solidarity movement, the Soviet bloc's first free labor union. This was the first of his nine visits to his native land. The places he visited:  Warsaw, Gniezno, Częstochowa, Kraków, Kalwaria Zebrzydowska, Wadowice, Brzezinka, Nowy Targ.


Jan Karski was recognized by Yad Vashem as Righteous Among the Nations. Jan Karski was a Polish World War II resistance movement fighter with the Armia Krajowa (Home Army) and in 1942 and 1943 reported to the Polish Government In Exile, and western allies on the situation in German-occupied Poland, the destruction of the Warsaw Ghetto, and the Holocaust of the Jews.  After the war he became Professor at Georgetown University.  A tree bearing a memorial plaque in his name was planted in 1982 at Yad Vashem's Avenue of the Righteous Among the Nations in Jerusalem. In 1994, Karski was made an honorary citizen of Israel in honor of his efforts on behalf of Polish Jews during the Holocaust (Shoah). Karski was nominated for the Nobel Prize and formally recognized by the UN General Assembly shortly before his death.  He passed away July 13, 2000.

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