The Garden of the Righteous of Warsaw

The Garden of the Righteous of Warsaw

the first one in Poland

The Garden of the Righteous in Warsaw was created as a grassroots community initiative, inspired by the work of the GARIWO Foundation. In Poland, which experienced two totalitarian ideologies, the idea promoted by GARIWO of creating Gardens and honouring people who, in Europe and beyond - during Nazism and Communism, genocides, mass murders, crimes against humanity committed in the 20th and 21st centuries - saved people's lives or stood up for human freedom and dignity, found a lively resonance.

On 6 March 2013, during the first celebrations of the European Day of Remembrance for the Righteous, a Committee composed of eminent personalities from the world of science and culture was formed at the History Meeting House in Warsaw, headed by the first non-communist Prime Minister of the Republic of Poland Tadeusz Mazowiecki. The Committee aimed to support educational projects promoting the attitudes of the Righteous and to build the Garden of the Righteous in Warsaw. In response to Prime Minister Tadeusz Mazowiecki's appeal, which appeared in the Polish press, the mayor of Warsaw's Wola district took the initiative to donate land for the construction of the Garden of the Righteous. In a letter to the Prime Minister, she wrote: "It will be a great honour for the Wola district that the Garden of the Righteous can be built here.”

The Garden of the Righteous in Warsaw was inaugurated in 2014, less than a year after Tadeusz Mazowiecki's death.

In 2023, on the tenth anniversary of the European Parliament's establishment of the European Day of Remembrance for the Righteous, the grassroots initiative took an institutionalised form, transforming into the Garden of the Righteous Foundation. It was made up of the Auschwitz-Birkenau Foundation and GARIWO Foundation. The Founders also included a member of the Committee, the international economist Józef Wancer, whose biography is entangled in the dramatic modes of history: he was born in the Gulag and 80% of his family members were killed in the ghettos and at Auschwitz.

On a local level, the Foundation works in close partnership with the Warsaw authorities and the History Meeting House.

The Foundation takes care of the Garden of the Righteous in Warsaw, which has symbolic significance not only for Warsaw but above all for the history of the world. It is located on the site of the former Warsaw Ghetto, whose 400,000 inhabitants were brutally exterminated during World War II. Nearby is St Augustine's Church, which was the only church in the Warsaw Ghetto to survive the post-war conflagration and where Jews fleeing the Ghetto during World War II were given shelter. Close to the Garden, within the Warsaw Ghetto, there was also the largest orphanage for Jewish children run by Janusz Korczak during the war. On the same Dzielna Street, along which the Garden of the Righteous is located, there was the PAWIAK prison during the Second World War, which became a place of execution for about 100,000 Poles. People of Jewish descent, such as Janusz Korczak and Emanuel Ringelblum, were also held there, as well as people who gave aid to the Jewish population, including Irena Sendler. A few hundred metres away from the Garden, in the basement of a house at 68 Nowolipki Street, was where the Ringelblum Archive was hidden.

Ceremony honoring the new Righteous in Warsaw


People honoured in this Garden

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Władysław Bartoszewski
anti-nazi journalist committed to aiding the Jews and fostering post-war reconcilation
Marek Edelman
vice commander of the Warsaw insurrection
Petro Grigorenko
anti-Stalinist Soviet General declared "mentally ill" for openly resisting Stalinism
Magdalena Grodzka-Guzkowska [biography on external website]
soldier of the Polish Underground army, who saved many Jews in the Ghetto
Jan Karski
he tried in vain to warn the Great Powers about the genocide against the Jews
Antonia Locatelli
she was murdered for having denounced the Rwandan Genocide
Nelson Mandela
the “giant” of the struggle against apartheid
Tadeusz Masowiecki
Solidarność member
Hasan Mazhar
he was the governor of Ankara. He protected the Ankara-Armenian community by refusing to follow the deportation orders
Witold Pilecki
a Polish Army soldier who was interned at Auschwitz to witness the horror
Anna Politkovskaya
murdered in Moscow for reporting atrocities in Chechnya
Father Giovanni Zieja
a life dedicated to others, after the World War II he stayed with the wounded soldiers to assist them
Jan Jelinek
Czech parish priest from the village of Kupychiv in Volyn. During the war he helped Jews, Poles, Ukrainians, Germans and Russians
Natalia Gorbaniewska
Russian dissident poet, one of the five participants at the Moscow demonstration against the aggression in Czechoslovakia on 1968
Roberto Kozak
Argentine diplomat. During the dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet in the 1970s, he helped Chile's persecuted people
Raphael Lemkin
the great jurist who coined the word “genocide”
Armin T. Wegner
He warned the leaders of his time to stop genocide against the Armenians and the Jews
Adalbert Wojciech Zink
the Polish priest who, in 1953, refused to sign the declaration for the arrest of Stefan Wyszyński.
Arsenij Borisovicz Roginski
Russian researcher of Stalinist crimes
Ewelina Lipko-Lipczyńska
Polish teacher who hid Jews during the Second World War
Raoul Wallenberg
the Swedish diplomat who rescued thousands Jews in Hungary
Liu Xiaobo
Writer and soul of Charter 08, the manifesto for the rule of law in communist China
Sergei Adamovich Kovalyov
One of the most important human rights defenders in the Soviet Union and Russia
Hrant Dink
journalist who promoted dialogue and reconciliation between Turks and Armenians
Stanislav Evgrafovič Petrov
In 1983 he averted a nuclear war between Soviet Union and Unites States following a false alarm after the launch of an American missile
Karol Modzelewski
historian of the Middle Ages, courageous, passionate and uncompromising fighter for democracy in Poland
Julia Ilisińska
Humanity on the edge of the Auschwitz-Birkenau camp
Antonina Wyrzykowska
the dramatic story of Antonina Wyrzykowska that saved the Jews
Emanuel Ringelblum
The man who sacrificed his life to save the history of Polish Jews
Jan Żabiński
the Warsaw Zoo director who saved numerous Jews
Moshe Bejski
The man who created the Garden of the Righteous
Bronislaw Geremek
he was a Polish social historian and politician and he always had an exclusive interest for the poorest social classes
Wilm Hosenfeld
officer who saved the famous pianist Władysław Szpilman
Alfreda “Noncia” Markowska
the Roma who saved dozens of children of his people and Jews
Gareth Jones
Welsh journalist who revealed the Holodomor

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