Jews Helping Other Jews on the “Aryan side”

In almost every Jewish account of hiding, under German occupation, we find information about how Jews helped each other on the “Aryan side”. They helped others to find a flat or a job, they lent money, they provided information and shared their experiences. They created formal (as part of underground organisations) or informal help networks, including family members, friends or even complete strangers. 

The Yad Vashem Institute does not honour these people with the title of Righteous Among the Nations, as that title is only bestowed upon non-Jews. At POLIN Museum, we would like to commemorate those Jews who helped other Jews on the “Aryan side”. They, also, are Righteous, as understood in the broad and universal accepted sense of the word – they are people who opposed the totalitarianism of Nazi Germany. They also defended dignity and human rights. 

Here, you can read nine stories which we have selected, as well as a historical study by Prof. Barbara Engelking, in which the phenomenon of Jewish self-help is discussed in a problematic manner. We thank Joanna Sobolewska-Pyz, former Chair of the Association of the “Children of the Holocaust” in Poland for inspiring the creation of the section. She owes her survival to, among others, Stanisław Gombiński, a policeman of the Jewish Police Service in the Warsaw ghetto.