Protest! – an official proclamation of the Underground Front for the Rebirth of Poland authored by Zofia Kossak

Zofia Kossak-Szczucka1942

Polish History Museum

Polish History Museum
Warszawa, Poland

Protest! was an official proclamation of the Underground Front for the Rebirth of Poland authored by Karski’s mentor and confidante, Zofia Kossak, co-founder of the Catholic organization “Front For The Rebirth of Poland” and “Council to Aid Jews” (“Żegota”). She was later honored with the medal “Righteous Amongst Nations.”


  • Title: Protest! – an official proclamation of the Underground Front for the Rebirth of Poland authored by Zofia Kossak
  • Creator: Zofia Kossak
  • Date: 1942
  • Location: Warsaw, Poland
  • Transcript: The world looks at this atrocity, more horrible than anything ever seen in the annals – and stays silent. The slaughter of millions of unarmed individuals is committed in the midst of a widespread, ominous silence. The deathsmen remain silent, they do not gloat over what they have committed. Neither England nor America speak aloud, even the influential international community of Jews remains silent, yet so recently sensitive to each iota of harm to their own. The Poles also stay silent. The Polish political allies of Jews limit themselves to press releases; the Polish opponents of Jews demonstrate a lack of interest in a matter, which is foreign to them. The dying Jews are solely surrounded by Pilates washing their hands of any fault. This silence cannot be tolerated any longer. Whatever its motives they are despicable. In the face of crime, one cannot remain passive. Who remains silent in the face of slaughter – becomes an enabler of the murderer. Who does not condemn – then consents. Therefore, we gather our voices, we Catholic Poles. Our feelings towards Jews have not changed. We have not stopped considering them the political, economic and conceptual enemies of Poland. Additionally, we realize that they hate us more than the Germans, that they fault us for their demise. Why and on what basis – remains the secret of the Jewish soul, nonetheless it is a fact and continuously confirmed. The consciousness of these feelings does not free us of the responsibility of condemning the crime. We do not wish to be Pilates. We do not have the ability to actively forestall the German slaughters, we cannot change anything, and save anyone – yet we protest from the depths of our hearts, which are encompassed with pity, indignation and anger. God requires this protest from us, God who does not allow murder. It is required of a Catholic conscience. Each being, calling itself human, has a right to brotherly love. The blood of the innocent calls for vengeance to the heavens. He, who does not support this protest – is not Catholic. We also protest as Poles. We do not believe that Poles could take profit in the brutality of the Germans. Conversely. In the stubborn silence of international Jewry, in the efforts of German propaganda already attempting to discard the odium for the murder of Jews onto the Lithuanians and the… Poles, we discern the seeds of an enemy action against us. We also know how poisonous the seeds of crime are. The compulsory participation of the Polish nation as observers of the bloody spectacle occurring on the lands of Poland, can cultivate an apathy to evil, sadism, and above all to the dangerous conviction that those who are close to us can be murdered with no retribution. He who does not understand this, who would wish to link a proud and sovereign future for Poland with this base glee in the misfortune of his brother – is neither a Catholic, nor a Pole!
  • Contributor: Polish History Museum
  • Collection: Jan Karski

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