They will come to Markowa, a village two hours’ drive from Krakow, on Sunday, September 10th beatified all members of the Ulma family: Józef and Wiktoria and their children Stasia, Basia, Władziu, Franio, Antoś, Marysia and the youngest, who was carried by his mother. Pope Francis approved the decree on the martyrdom of this Polish family, exterminated by the Nazis in 1944 for hiding eight Jews in the attic of their house.
A Catholic family
On March 24, 1944, the day ofmassacre Wiktoria was perpetrated by a group of German soldiers and collaborators from the so-called “blue police” and was pregnant with her seventh child. She married Józef in 1935. Her husband was a well-known young man Village because he is involved in the Catholic youth club and the milk producers’ cooperative. A brilliant mind of Józef, who was one of the first farmers to decide to focus on the production of fruits and vegetables and who soon showed a great passion for photography. Wiktoria also had an artistic inclination, particularly drawing and acting. What unites them more than anything else, however, is the great Christian faith. This belief led them to take in the eight Jews from Saul Goldman’s family, who asked for hospitality to avoid Operation Reinhard, carried out by the Nazis with the aim of eliminating the Jewish presence in Poland.
The story of the Ulma family and the Goldmans who lived in their family Ceiling The recently published book “They, too, killed children” tells the story for a year and a half. The Ulma, the family of martyrs who helped the Jews, edited by Ares and co-written by Manuela Tulli and Don Pawel Rytel Andrianik. In the foreword the cardinal Marcello SemeraroPrefect of the Dicastery for the Beatification and Canonization Processes, emphasized the exceptional nature of this beatification due to the different approach in the beatification process of each member of the Ulma family.
But what makes this so extraordinary is the fact that he is being recognized and blessed as a martyr for the first time unborn child. In fact, Wiktoria’s pregnancy was in an advanced stage at dawn on March 24, 1944, when the Nazis and their collaborators raided Markowa’s farmhouse. The assassins first killed the Jews in the attic: Saul, Baruch, Mechel, Joachim and Moses Goldman, Golda Grünfeld, Lea Didner and his daughter Reszla. Immediately afterwards, they ordered the Ulma couple to leave their house and go there they shot to warn the other villagers in front of the children. Dissatisfied, the Nazis decided not to spare the couple’s six small children.
The last child
The shock led to Wiktoria giving birth to her child exactly at the time of the execution. This aspect defines the son he had womb The first unborn child to be recognized and blessed as a martyr was reconstructed thanks to the testimonies of those who went to the house of the massacre in the following days to give the bodies a dignified burial. One of them was family member Franciszek Szylar, who – as we read in the book “They also killed the children of Tulli and Andrianik” – said: “When I put Wiktoria Ulma’s body in the coffin, I discovered that she was pregnant . I base my statement on the fact that his reproductive organs were visible since then: the head and chest of a child.” Even the victim’s nephew, Roman Kluz, said when relatives five days later found the bodies originally in a mass grave dug up so that they could put them in the coffins, “they found the seventh child born in the grave. that my aunt gave birth to after her death.
This blood that unites Catholics and Jews
In 1942, the Ulma made the decision to secretly take in the eight Jews they knew, even though they knew about it risk having to pay for this decision with his life. They did so, inspired by their Christian faith, which could not have moved them to make any other choice. The Dicastery for the Causes of Saints recognized that “the decision to help the Jews was weighed in the light of the commandment of love and the example of the Good Samaritan, as can be seen from the underlinings on their Bible.” The children were baptized and engages active faith of parents. There was blood baptism for the unborn child.
As Tulli and Don Andrianik reconstructed in their book, the barbaric killing of the Ulma did not stop the other inhabitants of Markowa from imitating them and committing new cases of Ulma Jews secretly taken in by other local families to protect them from the wrath of the Nazis. The martyrdom of Wiktoria and Jòzef was a testimony of Christian love worth following. The Ulma sacrifice was honored with the high award by the Yad Vashem Institute in Jerusalem in 1995 Righteous Among the Nations. Pope Francis remembered them in the general audience last Wednesday with the words: “May this great family of servants of God awaiting beatification be an example for all of us of fidelity to God and his commandments, of love for one’s neighbor and of respect . “to human dignity”.