77 years ago, on March 24, 1944, in Markowa village, south-eastern Poland, Nazi German military policemen murdered the Ulma family: Józef, his pregnant wife Wiktoria, and their six children, as well as the eight Jews they were hiding. In 1995, Israeli Institute of Remembrance Yad Vashem recognised Jozef and Wiktoria Ulma as Righteous Among the Nations.
The National Day of Remembrance of Poles saving Jews under German occupation, adopted by the Sejm [lower house of Polish parliament], has been marking the anniversary of the crime since 2018 .
In 1942, the Ulma family hid eight Jews from the Goldman, Didner and Gruenfeld families from the Nazi Germans. In the spring of 1944, they were denounced. On March 24, at dawn, German military policemen broke into the family’s house. They killed the Jews and the family that provided them shelter.
One of those saved by the inhabitants of the Markowa village was Abraham Izaak Segal, a Holocaust survivor. After the war, he lived in Israel and was an advocate of the creation of The Ulma Family Museum of Poles Saving Jews in World War II. He died in 2019.
The website of the Israeli Institute of Remembrance Yad Vashem in 2013 wrote: “The murder of the Ulma family - an entire family that was killed together with the Jews they were hiding - has become a symbol of Polish sacrifice and martyrdom during the German occupation.”
On September 13, 1995, the institute recognised Józef Ulma and his wife, Wiktoria Ulma, as Righteous Among the Nations. In 2010, Polish President Lech Kaczyński honored them with the Commander's Cross of the Order of Polonia Restituta. In 2003, the beatification process of the Ulma family began in the diocese of Przemyśl, south-eastern Poland, which is now taking place in the Vatican.