This year 2018 Poland celebrates 100th anniversary of regaining Independence. I thought that commemorating some of Poland's heroes would be the right thing to do. Also, becuase I am deeply concerned about people and organizations misrepresenting history of Poland and Poles, some even accusing Poland as a state and Polish people of complicity in German-Nazi crimes and genocide of World War two. Poles fought Germans and Axis powers from the very first day of war on Polish soil, then on all fronts, abroad, everywhere in the world. Poles of different faiths, of any backgrounds, any age and material or social status were subjects of persecution, enslavement and extermination perpetrated by Germans in occupied Poland (some of it annexed to Third Reich). Despite that Poles resisted Germans in the largest underground army known in history, resisted and risking lives aided their Polish - Jewish neighbors. This project is meant to inform those who do not know and to remind those who seem to forget.
Polish American Children from New York (and some grown ups) have written the names of the Righteous recognized by Yad Vashem Museum and Righteous we know about on the sides of the 6,50 meter Mini named "Witold". I added Jan Kowalski, Maria Kowalska, Jan Nowak and Maria Nowak, most common Polish names to that list of names - representing those Righteous who were for any reason not recognized. I will pass the message below to all ships and crew I'll meet in the North Atlantic Ocean, while going to Plymouth:
This is S/V WITOLD, POL 20000, class Open 6,50 sailboat going singlehanded New York, USA – Plymouth, UK for www.righteousacross.org.Witold is the first name of Witold Pilecki. www.en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Witold_Pilecki. Witold is also nom-de-guerre of Jan Kozielewski also known as Jan Karski. www.en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jan_Karski. They are Heroes of the Polish Underground movement of World War II. S/V WITOLD carries on the hull thousands of Polish names written by hands of young Polish Americans. Those names are the names of the Righteous. www.en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polish_Righteous_Among_the_Nations. At the risk of their own and their families’ immediate execution by Germans they were helping and saving lives of Poles of Jewish faith. German-occupied Poland was the only country in which for helping (including even handing a slice of bread or glass of water) Jews everyone involved and their families were killed on the spot. All those listed Righteous and many others we do not know about yet - they are all together and each and every one everyone’s Heroes. Read more on www.muzeumulmow.pl/en/. This voyage is to commemorate those truly brave Poles in celebration of the 100th anniversary of the Independence of Poland.