Polish President Andrzej Duda has awarded four Hungarians post-mortem with the Virtus et Fraternitas medal in recognition of their efforts to help Polish refugees during the second world war, in a ceremony held in the park of the presidential Belweder Palace in Warsaw. The honors were handed to the descendants of Margit Károlyi, Erzsébet Szapáry, Antal Szapáry and Edit Weiss.
Countess Margit Károlyi was founder of the Hungarian-Polish Committee for Refugees. She personally received refugees from Poland and made arrangements for their accommodation and education for their children. Countess Erzsébet Szapáry and her brother Antal accommodated the first Polish refugees and helped them leave Hungary for western Europe. Erzsébet was also active in rescuing orphaned Jewish children from Poland. Edit Weiss, the daughter of industrialist Manfred Weiss, helped Polish refugees to travel on to Iraq and France, and saved many Polish Jews from deportation. During the war, nearly 120,000 Poles fled to Hungary and found shelter across the country, the Hungarian-Polish committee playing a crucial role in assisting them.
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