In 1988, Waclaw Bielawski, a public prosecutor of the " Main Commission for Investigation of Crimes Against the
Polish Nation " submitted a list identifying over 1,100 names of Poles who were killed trying to save the Jews during
World War II.

Unfortunately, this list was reduced to 704 names in 1997, in the third of a series of publications entitled: "Those Who
Helped: Polish Rescuers of Jews during the Holocaust ".  This reduction was made because a vast number of
accounts could not be adequately verified, as there were either no witnesses, or the survivors were no longer alive.  
Nevertheless, there were an additional 5,400 Poles recognized by Yad Vashem as "Righteous Among Nations ".  

This figure however does not even come close to the number of Poles who helped the Jews.  For every Jew saved,
there were up to 10 or more Poles involved in sheltering them, therefore the figure must certainly be much higher.  
Then there are Poles whose identity we will never know.  They died trying to save Jews.  The Germans frequently
conducted house to house searches, and upon finding any Jews in hiding shot them along with the Poles who were
sheltering them, oftentimes including neighbours, families, and friends.  By this, the Germans were assured that there
were no witnesses. The number of Poles recognized by Yad Vashem is drastically underestimated. Sadly the world
will never know their names.   

Of the 40 countries cited in the ranks of Righteous Among Nations, Poland ranks first.