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Markowa, Poland: Servants of God Józef and Wiktoria Ulma

 

The story of Jozef and Wiktoria Ulma:

The Ulma familyThe small village of Lwów Voivodeship (now called Markowa) was home to about 4,000 people in 1939, shortly before the German army conquered Poland.  Predominantly Catholic, the village also contained a number of Jews as well.  By 1942, many Jews had been rounded up and sent to concentration camps, but eight were able to hide in the attic of the home of Jozef and Wiktoria Ulma.  This was in addition to their own six children aged from two to eight (with one more on the way), which made it difficult to provide for everyone.  Naturally this was a great risk, not only to the Jews in hiding, but to the Ulma family as well.

One of the local ” blue police” (loyal to the Nazis) denounced the family for sheltering Jews and on March 24, 1944, five German gendarmes and several of the local blue police raided the Ulman home.  All were taken in to custody…the Jews and all members of the Ulma family. They first shot the Jews, and next Józef and Wiktoria (who was in the seventh month of pregnancy). Then, the commander decided to kill the children (perhaps as an example to the other villagers). Within a few minutes, seventeen people lost their lives (including the baby whom Wiktoria started giving birth to at the moment of the execution).

About twenty other Jews were sheltered by other Poles in Markowa and they did survive the occupation.

In 1995, Wiktoria and Józef Ulma were posthumously awarded the “Righteous Among the Nations” title. In 2010, they were honoured with the Commander’s Cross of the Order of Polonia Restituta by the President of the Republic of Poland, Lech Kaczyński.

In 2003, the Ulmas were named “Servant of God” in the Diocese of Przemyśl, beginning the beatification process, which is currently under way at the Vatican.

Your can read more of their story here.

Memorial to the ulma familyThere is now a museum here with exhibits about the Nazi occupation and the courageous efforts of the Ulma family.  You can also find a memorial with their names…and others inscribed on it.

 

Traveling to Markowa:

Markowa is located just 6 miles South east of Lancut, about 120 miles (200 km) from Krakow.  There is frequent train service from Krakow Plaszow Station (there two train stations in Krakow) that take about 2 hours for the direct trains.  There are one or two others but they require a change of trains.

You can find the museum here:

Address:  37-120 Markowa 1487

Tel:  +48 17 224 10 15

email:  [email protected]

Click here for the official Markowa museum website.

Find restaurants and hotels in Lancut, and read what other travelers have to say at TripAdvisor    There are also a few hotels in Markowa not shown on the TripAdvisor site.

⇐ Back to Catholic Shrines and places of interest in Poland

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