Szmul Zygielbojm’s farewell letter, May 11, 1943

Szmul Zygielbojm1943

Polish History Museum

Polish History Museum
Warszawa, Poland

Szmul Zygielbojm, a member of the National Council of the Polish Government-in-Exile, took his life in London. He left a letter that he decided to die as a protest against the passivity of the Allies towards the fate of the Jews, hoping that his death would save some lives of the remaining Jews.


  • Title: Szmul Zygielbojm’s farewell letter, May 11, 1943
  • Creator: Szmul Zygielbojm
  • Date: 1943, 1943
  • Location: London, Great Britain
  • Transcript:
    But as I was unable to do anything during my life, perhaps by my death I shall contribute to the breaking of the indifference of those who are able and should act in order to save now, maybe in the last moment, this handful of Polish Jews, who are still alive, from certain annihilation. My life belongs to the Jewish people in Poland, and therefore, I give it to them. I wish that this handful which remained from several millions of Polish Jews, could live to see, with the Polish masses, the liberation, that it could breathe in Poland, and in a world of freedom and in the justice of socialism, for all its tortures and inhuman sufferings. And I believe that such a Poland will arise and that such a world will come. I trust that the President and the Prime Minister will direct these my words to all those for whom they are destined, and that the Polish Government will immediately begin an appropriate action in the diplomatic and propaganda fields in order to save yet from extermination the remains of the Polish Jews who are still alive. I bid farewell to all and everything dear to me and loved by me. (-) S. Zygielbojm
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  • Contributor: Hoover Institution Archives | Register of the Jan Karski Papers | box 13 folder 2
  • Original Source: Hoover Institution Archives, Hoover Institution Archives
  • Collection: Jan Karski

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