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First CCJS Eternal Light Award Recipient, Jan Karski, to be Awarded Posthumous Presidential Medal of Freedom
On April 23, 2012, President Barack Obama announced, in a speech at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, that Jan Karski, a Polish Catholic hero of the Holocaust who died in 2000, would be among the recipients of the 2012 Presidential Medal of Freedom, the Nation’s highest civilian honor.
Professor Karski was the first recipient of the Center for Catholic-
As a Polish Catholic, Jan Karski, 1914-
As a member of the Polish underground resistance to Nazi occupation, Karski breached the barbed wire gates of the Izbica Ghetto, a Jewish ghetto located near the city of Lublin and a collection point for Polish Jews and other Jews from Czechoslovakia, Germany, and Austria before they were shipped to the death camps of Belzec and Treblinka. He witnessed the murder of dozens of Jews being resettled from local ghettos to Izbica at the hands of brutal Ukrainian guards. Karski (born Jan Kozielewski in Poland’s second