Polish President Bronislaw Komorowski made public for the first time Wednesday that his family was one of many in World War II Poland that sheltered Jews from Adolf Hitler’s Nazis.
At the start of an official visit to Washington, Komorowski was reunited in a moving ceremony at the Holocaust Museum with Zeev Baran, who, along with his mother and a sibling, were hidden by the Komorowskis when the Nazis invaded Poland in 1939, triggering World War II.
Baran, who moved to Israel after the war, emotionally recalled how his father had been killed alongside the uncle of Komorowski, whom he referred to as Bronek, the diminutive of his first name, usually used by close friends and family.
Komorowski began a two-day visit to the United States with a visit to the Holocaust Museum, which stands as a memorial to the six million Jews who died at the hands of the Nazis in World War II.
More than half the Jews who died in the Holocaust were Polish. Many Holocaust victims were killed in death camps built by the Nazis on Polish soil, including the infamous Auschwitz-Birkenau camp near Krakow.
Komorowski was due later Wednesday to meet with President Barack Obama amid a brewing storm over the diplomatic cables published by Wikileaks, which Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk said have eroded the trust between Warsaw and Washington.