Since 2015 POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews has been awarding and distinguishing people and organizations that demonstrate important, extraordinary actions, which significantly impact on social awareness of the history of Polish Jews and on building Polish-Jewish relations. The winners of the award are social activists who consistently work to preserve the historical memory and contribute to shaping Polish-Jewish future, mutual understanding and respect.
This year’s POLIN Award was announced during the ceremony on December 5. “Tonight’s heroes protect the memory of those who have been forgotten, recall from oblivion names and surnames that have not been spoken for decades. They discover and popularize their stories, restore memories. […] Most often the nominees are not Jews, do not deal with the history of their families and have rarely had contact with the Jewish culture and tradition. What they do, comes from a selfless impulse of the heart, which turns into action for those who simply no one remembers” – said Zygmunt Stępiński, director of the POLIN Museum. The winner of the POLIN Award 2023 – Mariusz Sokołowski is a principal of the Gen. Władysław Sikorski Primary School in Białystok, who since 2007 has been involved in restoring the memory of Jews in Wasilków and Białystok. He is the author of multiple publications and articles on the methodology of teaching multiculturalism, co-creator of the Jewish Heritage Trail in Białystok and a teacher engaging students in learning about the local, multicultural past. For over 10 years he has been a member of the Forum for Dialogue and POLIN Museum Ambassadors program.
During the ceremony, special recognition prizes were also awarded to Ewa Paul and Saga Grybów Association, and Andrzej Folwarczny with the team of Forum for Dialogue received the POLIN Special Award.