List of Polish Jews

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From the Middle Ages until the Holocaust, Polish Jews comprised an appreciable part of Poland's population. The Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth, known for its religious tolerance[1] and described as Paradisus Judaeorum (Latin for "Paradise of the Jews").,[2][3][4][5][6] had attracted tens of thousands of Jews who fled persecution from other European countries. Poland was a major spiritual and cultural center for Ashkenazi Jews.

At the start of the Second World War, Poland had the largest Jewish population in the world (over 3.3 million, some 10% of the general Polish population).[7] The vast majority were murdered in the Holocaust in Poland during the Germany occupation, under the Nazi "Final Solution" mass-extermination program. Only 369,000 (11%) of Poland's Jews survived the War.

The list below includes persons of Jewish faith or ancestry.

Historical figures[edit]



Graves of Polish Jews among the fallen soldiers of the Polish Defensive War of 1939; Powązki Cemetery, Warsaw

Sovereign Polish Armed Forces[edit]

  • Berek Joselewicz, Polish-Jewish Colonel in the Polish Legions of Napoleon's armies
  • Bernard Mond, member of the Austrio—Hungarian Army, 1914–1918; Polish soldier and officer, 1918–1939; sent to POW camp by the Germans; finished his career in the rank of Brigade General and, in command of the 6th Infantry Division (Poland), fought against the Germans in 1939
  • Poldek Pfefferberg, Polish soldier in 1939 saved from death by his sergeant major; Holocaust survivor; a man who inspired the book that the film Schindler's List was based on
  • Baruch Steinberg, Chief Rabbi of the Polish Armed Forces, murdered by the Soviet NKVD

Religious figures[edit]








Cultural figures[edit]



Screen and stage[edit]

Writers and poets[edit]



Business figures[edit]






Professional wrestling[edit]


Track and field[edit]

  • Myer Prinstein, Olympic long-jumper from Szczuczyn, Poland
  • Irena Szewińska, sprinter and long jumper; world records in 100-m, 200-m, and 400-m; three-time Olympic champion, plus four medals (for a total of seven Olympic medals)
  • Jadwiga Wajs, two world records (discus); Olympic silver and bronze (discus)


  • Ben Helfgott, Polish-born, three-time British champion (lightweight), three-time Maccabiah champion; survived Buchenwald and Theresienstadt; all but one family member was murdered by the Nazis

Holocaust survivors[edit]

See also[edit]


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