Mumbai: The S.P. Jain Institute of Management & Research (SPJIMR) in collaboration with The Polish Institute will host an exhibition titled ‘The Good Samaritans from Markowa’. The exhibition will be inaugurated on Thursday, March 22, 2018, at 11 am in the presence of Dr. Ranjan Banerjee, Dean of the S.P. Jain Institute of Management & Research and Dr. Tomasz Gerlach, Director of the Polish Institute, New Delhi. The exhibition will be open to students and members of the public throughout the day from March 22-25, 2018. The exhibition will be put up in the main courtyard of SPJIMR.
The exhibition depicts the story of the Ulma Family – Poles murdered by the Germans for aiding Jews during World War II. The exhibition also throws light on the Polish and Jewish community of Markowa and the reality of German occupation in Poland where any help offered to Jews invited the death penalty.
In 1939, approximately 4,300 Poles and 120 Jews lived in Markowa, a village situated in South-Eastern Poland. The majority of Jewish inhabitants were murdered by the German troops in 1942. Nine Polish families, despite the constant fear of being caught and killed, continued to harbor Jews, a story that shines through those dark times and stands out as an inspiration and celebration of courage and heart. One of the families was the Ulma family. On 24th March 1944, the soldiers murdered the entire Ulma family including their six children and the eight Jews they were sheltering.
Dr. Gerlach, the Director of the Polish Institute, said, “The Polish Institute in New Delhi is grateful to SPJIMR for receiving our exhibition at the premises of this prestigious institute. During my first visit to SPJIMR some time ago, I got acquainted with SPJIMR and saw a vibrant atmosphere here and was happy to the see the openness of the students, faculty and the staff. SPJIMR is always full of students who work hard to become good specialists in business, administration and many other useful areas. Specialisation is the need of the modern curriculum but besides it is also good to learn about the world at large. SPJIMR has been offering more holistic learning and hosting this exhibition is a good example of that.”
Dr. Gerlach added, “Our intention in presenting this exhibition is to open hearts and consciousness of MBA participants to the realities of life which for many people in Poland during WW II was the most difficult examination of their values. Polish Samaritans passed this test positively. They showed their determination, courage and compassion to help their neighbours in need. The exhibition refers to our humanity and to the values which form our personalities. The exhibition carries a universal message and can form the basis of mutual understanding. It is part of Poland’s contemporary history and should open eyes of the viewers that history is an important subject to learn.”
Dr. Ranjan Banerjee, Dean, SPJIMR, said, “These are historical events that remind us of great courage in the face of struggle and understanding more of what happened can prevent their recurrence in modern times. And for our students and the community, it can provide a source of inspiration as well as a source of appreciation of what history has to teach us.”
The exhibition builds on a long tradition of partnership between the Polish consulate and SPJIMR. Prof. Prem Chandrani, Chairperson, International Relations, SPJIMR said,” We, at SPJIMR, have a long-standing relationship with The University of Warsaw and the Consulate General of the Republic of Poland in Mumbai. We are delighted that we are taking this relationship to a new level. The exhibition hosted by the Polish Institute and SPJIMR is a reflection of the common set of values shared by us.”