Skip to Main Content

Righteous Among the Nations: Righteous Among the Nations

Year 10 Elective History

Resources in Accessit

Here are some books that you may find useful during your studies.  Search the Bennies catalogue Accessit for more, or browse the Non-fiction collection NFS.

United States Holocaust Museum

The Righteous Among the Nations are non-Jewish individuals who have been honoured by Yad Vashem, Israel's Holocaust memorial, for risking their lives to aid Jews during the Holocaust.

The Council for Aid to Jews (codenamed “Żegota”) was an underground rescue organization of Poles and Jews. It operated in German-occupied Poland from December 4, 1942, to January 1945 and was supported by the Polish government-in-exile. Żegota’s main objective was to coordinate efforts to save Jews from Nazi persecution and murder. 


Short animated video explaining about the Righteous Among the Nations who had acted to rescue Jews during the Holocaust period, and the difficult complexities they faced.

A historical video describing the life and work of Righteous Among the Nations Irena Sendler. Sendler acted as part of "Żegota" in the operation of saving Jewish children in Warsaw, Poland during the Holocaust and World War II, and saved hundreds of children. The video is accompanied by narration and archival images.

A historical video describing the life of Righteous Among the Nations Zejneba Hardaga. Hardaga rescued the Kabilio family from Sarajevo, Bosnia. The video is accompanied by narration and archival images.

Video outlining the story of Righteous Among the Nations André and Magda Trocmé, who as communal leaders of Le Chambon-sur-Lignon, France, acted to rescue Jews during the Holocaust period - encouraging their fellow community members to do the same. The video features their narrated story accompanied by archival photos.

Video outlining the story of Righteous Among the Nations Raoul Wallenberg, of Sweden. Wallenberg acted to rescue Jews of Budapest, Hungary, during the Second World War.

Description: Video describing the life and activities of Leopold Socha, recognized as a Righteous Among the Nations. Socha, together with his wife and the Wróblewski family, rescued Jews in Lwow during the Holocaust period.

 Żegota was the successor institution to the Provisional Committee to Aid Jews and was established specifically to save Jews. Poland was the only country in German-occupied Europe where such a government-established and -supported underground organization existed

Those Who Dared- public domain

This guide helps secondary students to understand the role of the rescuers of the Jews during the Holocaust. The rescuers included atheists, government bureaucrats, 4erman soldiers, antisemites, devout Christians, and even German collaborators. The focus is on how people, both good and bad, react in times of stress and of thr moral choices all people may have to face in their lives.

Yad Vashem

One of Yad Vashem’s principal duties is to convey the gratitude of the State of Israel and the Jewish people to Righteous Among the Nations who took great risks to save Jews during the Holocaust.

The motivation of the Righteous Among the Nations - The deeds and behavior of those we term Righteous Among the Nations, that is of non-Jewish Holocaust rescuers of Jews honored by Yad Vashem, have undergone certain scrutiny from sociological and psychological disciplines.

The Rescuer Self- Rescue of Jews under the Nazis was, in psychological parlance, a "rare behavior." From a population of 700 million in Germany and the allied occupied countries, the thousands who risked their lives to save Jews and others from Nazi persecution constituted an aberration from the norm. The majority remained passive bystanders; many actively collaborated in the Final Solution.

Echoes and Reflections

Rescue of Jews by non-Jews was the exception rather than the rule during the Holocaust. Most people never considered helping Jews. The brutal repression of those who helped and fear of such repression, the culture of conformity, the prevailing atmosphere of antisemitism, and in many times and places, the profound suffering engendered by the war, all contributed to an attitude of caring only for “me and mine” and the general abandonment of the Jews to their fate.

Jewish Virtual Library

Of the 8.86 million Jews who lived in Europe before the Holocaust, it is generally believed that six million perished as a result of Nazi genocide. Hundreds of thousands of others would have joined them were it not for the courageous intervention of a few world leaders and thousands of individuals who risked their lives in order to save Jews from the gas chambers. Many of these men and women paid for their heroic efforts with their lives.

Żegota” also known as the “Konrad Żegota Committee,” was a codename for the Council to Aid Jews (Rada Pomocy Żydom), an underground organization in German-occupied Poland from 1942 to 1945.

Sydney Jewish Museum

Siek and Anna Attema were Dutch farmers who hid Mia Polak and her sister for two years on their farm in Gaast-Friesland, Holland, during World War Two.

Holocaust Memorial Day Trust

During the Nazi period everyone had to make moral choices. Some people became perpetrators, others were bystanders. A small and brave minority chose to help the persecuted – these are the rescuers and helpers. This was an extraordinary selfless choice. It meant risking not only their own lives but the lives of their own family and children. Many paid with their lives. None succeeded in halting the Holocaust, but many people survived as a result of their efforts.