Aleksandra Cybulska, 100, and her husband Kazimierz Cybulski, who died in 2002 at the age of 94, were honored last Thursday with the the Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial museum Righteous Among the Nations award for risking their lives to save a Jewish girl named Sonia Berkowicz from Nazi persecution.
According to Polish Radio, the award was presented in the northern city of Gdynia by the Israeli deputy ambassador to Poland Ruth Cohen-Dar.
According to the POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews, located on the site of the Warsaw Ghetto, that in the spring of 1942, Sonia Berkowicz and her brothers appeared outside the Cybulska couple’s door in the village of Jakszyce, asking for food. The brothers returned to the ghetto after a few days, but Sonia remained under the Polish couple’s care until 1943, was moved to another family and then returned and stayed until 1946.
Sonia Berkowicz’s parents and brothers were murdered by the Nazis. After the war she made Aliyah and then immigrated to the Us. She is 84 and lives in the US, as do her three children.
According to Polish Radio, out of the 26,513 people who have received the honor, 6,706 are Poles. By January 1939, the population of Poland was 35,100,000, roughly 3 million of whom were Jewish.
For comparison, in the Netherlands, with a population of 9 million in 1940, 5,516 have been awarded the Righteous Among the Nations award, with a Jewish population of 154,887.