Warsaw, January 23 (MTI) – Istvan Elek, a 98-year-old veteran of the second world war living in Gdansk, Poland, was awarded the Order of Polonia Restituta, one of Poland’s highest orders, on Saturday for his merits in helping Poles during the anti-Nazi Warsaw Uprising of 1944, an official at the Hungarian embassy in Warsaw said.
Serving in the Hungarian army in the second world war, Elek was posted to Poland. Risking his own life, he saved many Poles during the Warsaw Uprising that began on August 1, 1944 and lasted until October 2 that same year.
After the war Elek remained in Poland and worked toward furthering Hungarian-Polish relations over the following decades. In 1956 he helped raise money in Gdansk to be sent to the revolutionaries in Budapest.
The Order of Polonia Restituta can be conferred for outstanding achievements in the fields of education, science, sports, culture, art, economics, national defense, social work, civil service or for furthering good relations between countries. It was established on February 4, 1921 and can be awarded to both civilians and soldiers.