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April 19, 2014 / 19 Nisan, 5774
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Posts Tagged ‘Yad Vashem’

Thousands of Israeli Students Mark Memorial Day at Yad Vashem

Monday, April 23rd, 2012

Jerusalem – Thousands of high school students from across Israel participated in a national walk on Sunday, April 22, from Yad Vashem on the “Connecting Path” to Mount Herzl, Israel’s national cemetery, organized by Israel’s Ministry of Education. The students took part in a special school project to commemorate the nation’s Holocaust Day, which took place last Thursday, and its connection to Israel’s Memorial Day for Fallen Soldiers and Victims of Terror, which falls on Wednesday.

During the walk, the students stopped at different stations along the way, learning about the Jewish people’s struggle for survival during the Holocaust and recalling entire Jewish communities wiped out by the systematic state murder of Nazi Germany’s Adolf Hitler and his collaborators across Europe. The names of the 5,000 Jewish communities that were destroyed or barely survived the Holocaust are engraved on 107 stone walls known as the “Valley of Communities” at Yad Vashem. As the high school students passed through, there were many who looked for the names of cities and towns of grandparents had come from.

“I found the name of my grandfather’s town in Poland,” said Udi Knebel, an eighth grade student at Leyada High School, whose grandfather is a Holocaust survivor.

“From the Holocaust to Revival” was the theme of the day. Along the path to Mount Herzl, the burial site of some of the Jewish people’s most well-known leaders and fighters who sought to shape an independent Jewish state, students passed by an original German cattle car given by Polish authorities that was used to transport Jews to extermination camps. The students also learned about the hollow tree trunk that that provided shelter for Jakob Silberstein when the Nazis were searching for him in the home of Jana Sudova, which he had escaped to during a death march from Auschwitz to Czechoslovakia in January 1945.  Silberstein located the tree trunk many years later and had it brought to Yad Vashem five years ago where it is now on display.

The connection between the Holocaust Remembrance Day and Israel’s Memorial Day For Fallen Soldiers was brought to light by the concluding ceremony held at Yad Vashem’s memorial site for Holocaust survivors who fought and fell during Israel’s 1948 Independence Day War. High school student representatives laid a wreath of flowers at the sight which was built to commemorate all those who were the last and surviving members of families killed in the Holocaust, who came to Israel and died battling Israel’s first war as a young state.

“These people gave the ultimate sacrifice,” said 18-year old Noi, about to enter the army and one of the guides giving tours to the students on Sunday. “We are here today thanks in part to those Holocaust survivors who fought to make this Jewish state happen,” he explained to the students. “They were never able to establish their own homes here in Israel, but they helped create a national home for our people. We must never forget them, nor their suffering or their faith in a dream that seemed impossible.”

 

Israel Remembers the Holocaust

Thursday, April 19th, 2012

As air raid sirens blared out across the country on Thursday, citizens of Israel stopped for a moment of silence to remember the victims of the Holocaust.

Synchronized sirens rang out at 10am throughout Israel, with pedestrian and road traffic, businesses and schools coming to an abrupt halt, and standing in silence for the 2 minute-long memorial.  In Jerusalem, sidewalks were filled with all kinds of Israelis, many reciting Psalms from prayer books quickly drawn from their pockets.  Memorial ceremonies conducted throughout Israel for the occasion also ceased for the siren.

On Wednesday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned that dismissing the Iranian nuclear threat as an exaggeration “have learned nothing from the Holocaust.”

Speaking at the national Holocaust Rememberance Day memorial at the Warsaw Ghetto Square in Jerusalem’s Yad Vashem Holocaust Museum, Prime Minister Netanyahu called thwarting Iran’s nuclear capability an “obligation” on the world, but especially on Israel.  “Remembering the Holocaust is imperative for learning the lessons of the past in order to ensure the foundations of the future,” the prime minister said. “I hope the day comes when we learn of calls for Israel’s annihilation in history classes only, and not in daily media reports. But that day is not here yet. The Iranian regime is openly calling for our destruction and working frantically for the development of nuclear weapons as a means to that end.”

President Shimon Peres, also speaking at the ceremony, said Israel is capable today of dealing with Iranian threats, and appealed to the world not to repeat the mistakes of the past.   “Humankind has no choice but to learn the lessons of the Holocaust and face existing threats, before it is too late,” he said.

The ceremony, held under the theme “My Brother’s Keeper”, emphasized Jewish solidarity during the Holocaust, and honored six survivors who provided aid to fellow Jews during the Holocaust.  Hundreds of additional Holocaust survivors were in attendance.

IDF Chief of Staff Lieutenant General Benny Gantz told attendees at the Holocaust Remembrance Day ceremony at Kibbutz Tel Yitzhak on Wednesday night that the IDF is “the embodiment of the strength of the Jewish nation”, and that “we are the arm of steel that will respond to any attempt to hurt us with a harsh blow.  We are the people’s wall of protection.”

Throughout Thursday, a Knesset ceremony called “Every Person Has a Name” will read out a list of the names of Holocaust victims.  Prime Minister Netanyahu and President Peres will participate in the event.

The Yellow Star

Wednesday, April 18th, 2012

A little more than six months ago, my sister-in-law passed away after battling a serious illness. For more than 30 years she had given symposiums on the Holocaust to youngsters in the Philadelphia area, and we talked about her activities many times on our visits to the U.S. After her passing I was determined to do some kind of volunteer work for Yad Vashem in her memory.

I contacted a wonderful person there who works on the Names Project, recovering names of victims that have yet to be placed in the database. Believe it or not, there are still nearly two million names that are not on the list – millions of wonderful people who lived, worked, studied and raised families in cities, shtetls and villages who must not be forgotten. Many of the survivors or family members are elderly, or their memories have been clouded by the passage of many decades. And so the saying “if not now, when then?” is never more applicable.

After my initial meeting with Sara Berkowits, my contact at Yad Vashem, I received some training from another field worker who is also recovering names through interviews, visits to shuls, etc. He gave me the names of survivors to be interviewed in order to reclaim these missing names. Although excited about the opportunity, I was nervous about how to do the job properly, how much the survivors would actually remember, and if they would even allow me to come into their lives and homes. What I was not prepared for was how wonderful and eye opening the experience – every discussion actually – was going to be.

The very first interview I conducted was with an elderly man born in Romania. My friend, Rafi Freudenberger, and I listened intently to his stories (there is another department at Yad Vashem that records personal stories, but we were interested to hear about their families in order to get to the actual names), and heard the names of Transnistria and Bukovina. I asked him to repeat these names many times, having never heard such names before. Oddly enough, in the weeks following that first interview, I came across many articles that mentioned those same places, and the tragedies that befell the Jewish communities there. Many thousands of Jews were caught between the claws of Russia, Romania, and Germany. In October 1941 the entire Jewish community was deported en masse to Siberia.

As Mr. Geller was elderly, I limited the time we spent at his home sorting out the families and the names he recalled. I scheduled a second meeting with him for the following week. But after speaking to his wife the day before I was to return, it became clear that the process of remembering was just too much for him. I would have to give to Yad Vashem only the few names that I had gathered.

Recently, I spoke to another survivor who was born in Den Haag in Amsterdam. Shlomo first gave us a detailed list of family members who had perished in the Shoah – where they were born; where and when they died. He showed us a detailed list from the government of Holland that had all the information, and he wanted to correct some erroneous details that Yad Vashem had listed. At one point he opened up a drawer with documents and pictures. One of the pictures was that of a family wedding, and every person was wearing a yellow star – a badge of honor and pride. Unfortunately most of the people were killed in the Shoah, including his parents.

At one point I asked Shlomo about the bookcase and the very old-looking volumes. He told me that the non-Jews had taken these and many other volumes from his father and grandfather’s homes. The ones I was looking at were the “survivors.” The others had been taken, their bindings sold and the precious pages destroyed.

Shlomo’s story of his family was also the story of a very special cousin who went through Bergen-Belsen and Trobitz with him. (Of the 2,500 prisoners who were transported from Bergen-Belsen on April 10, 1945, 600 died from disease or malnutrition.) Both lost most of their family members there. Joe Holstein, my wife’s cousin, lost his parents and one brother in Bergen-Belsen, and lost another brother in Trobitz. One of his five sons was named after his two brothers. Shlomo’s parents died only a few weeks before the end of the war, and he has not gone back since. But cousin Joe and his wife returned to visit the graves at Trobitz, and took pictures of Shlomo’s relatives’ gravestones as well.

Joe raised six wonderful children, but died of a heart attack at the sound of the first siren of the first Gulf War. Like Yosef of biblical fame, Joe had also been a yoetz (Joe was a school guidance counselor). And during the year that my wife and I met, he advised us on many different matters. Twenty-one years later Joe has many grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Each of them is testimony to the fact that am Yisrael chai – the Jewish people are alive and thriving in the Holy Land.

Germany Grants 10 Million Euros to Yad Vashem

Wednesday, February 1st, 2012

Germany has signed off on a grant of 10 million euros over the next ten years to the Yad Vashem Holocaust museum.

German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle signed the agreement while visiting in Israel.

Education Minister Gideon Sa’ar represented Israel at the signing. “On behalf of the government of Israel, I express a deep appreciation to the German government for providing funding for this important purpose,” said Sa’ar. “This decision reflects the importance that the German government attaches to the subject of the Holocaust. The commemoration of the Holocaust is an endless task.”

 

Jewish Mega-Philanthropist Backing Gingrich, Drawing Critique

Friday, January 27th, 2012

Republican US presidential hopeful Newt Gingrich’s relationship with Jewish megabillionaire and foremost donor Sheldon Adelson has raised the ire of critics, who say Gingrich’s very public support for Israel is an exchange for support.

Gingrich reiterated his belief that the Palestinians are an “invented” people at a CNN Republican debate in Florida ahead of Tuesday’s primary, promising to issue an executive order moving the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, in accordance with a law passed by Congress in 1995 which has been waived by every US President since.

View statements to the Republican Jewish Coalition in June 2011 by Gingrich, posted by his campaign on YouTube:

At the time the Jerusalem Embassy Act, which stated that “”Jerusalem should be recognized as the capital of the State of Israel; and the United States Embassy in Israel should be established in Jerusalem” as an “undivided city”, was passed, Gingrich was Speaker of the House of Representatives. It was during that tenure that Gingrich met Sheldon Adelson, wealthy casino resort magnate and staunch advocate for Israel.  To assist in promoting the law, Adelson arrived in Washington to talk to leaders about the matter on Capitol Hill.  Gingrich introduced the legislation, and Adelson and Gingrich’s relationship grew.  Ultimately Adelson became a big sponsor of the work Gingrich did prior to his candidacy, and then the foremost supporter of the campaign itself.

Adelson, who grew up as the son of poor Ukrainian Jewish immigrants to Boston, scratched his way to the top in business, first selling toiletries and ultimately becoming owner of 3 successful Las Vegas casino hotel s and convention centers, as well as contracts for casinos in Macau and Singapore.  He is now the 8th wealthiest person in the United States, according to Forbes’ most recent ranking, behind George Soros and ahead of Jim Walton.

Since making his billions, Adelson has earned a name as a pre-eminent Jewish philanthropist, giving $100 million to the Birthright Jewish identity-building project taking youth on trips to Israel, $25 million to the Yad VaShem Holocaust Memorial in Israel, and donated a new headquarters to the Israel lobby in Washington, AIPAC, despite his reservations that the organization is overly pro-Palestinian.  Adelson is against a two-state solution which would give the Palestinian Authority control over lands historically belonging to the Jewish people, and has supported Gingrich’s remarks on the subject of Palestinian nationhood.

Adelson also started the free daily newspaper distributed in major Israeli cities called Israel HaYom (Israel Today), which espouses views leaning more toward Likud than Labor.

Adelson’s wife, Miriam, is an Israeli-born doctor specializing in the treatment of addictions.  Together, they have opened treatment centers in Las Vegas and Tel Aviv.  The pair have made many of their contributions in tandem, with Miriam donating $5 million of the $10 million the couple have thus-far given to Gingrich’s campaign.

While media speculations that Gingrich’s pro-Israel outlook was bought by Adelson, Gingrich told the Associated Press that he has only promised Adelson to “seek to defend the United States and United States allies,” with Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) President Morton Klein telling the AP that Gingrich has been known as “one of the few politicians who has had the courage to tell the truth about Israel,” saying that is probably why they formed a relationship.

As for himself, Adelson says that his support for Gingrich comes from an interest in helping his friend win.  “Our means of support might be more than others are able to offer,” Adelson said, “but like most Americans, words such as friendship and loyalty still mean something to us.”

An Interview With Philanthropist Extraordinaire Sheldon Adelson

Wednesday, December 28th, 2011

In September 2011, Forbes magazine ranked Sheldon Adelson the 8th richest man in America and 16th in the world. He is chairman and CEO of the Las Vegas Sands Corp. with integrated resorts in Asia, Pennsylvania, and Las Vegas where his holdings include The Venetian, The Palazzo and the Sands Expo and Convention Center.

He has contributed hundreds of millions of dollars to Jewish and Israeli concerns and is the single largest donor to the Birthright Israel program. He and his wife, Miriam, recently presented Jerusalem’s Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial with $25 million – the second $25 million donation made by the couple to Yad Vashem in five years. Their total contribution is the largest ever received by Yad Vashem from a private donor.

The Jewish Press: Let’s start at the beginning. Where were you raised?

Adelson: As far as I was concerned, we lived in a Jewish ghetto in Boston. I used to call it the slums. The best you could say about it was that it was a dense, impoverished area. My parents had few material things and the moneylender came to the house so often that I thought he was an uncle, like he was part of the family, because he would show up at every family affair.

What was it like growing up so impoverished?

For several years the whole family – my parents, two brothers, and my sister – lived in one bedroom. The living room was a storefront where my mother ran a knitting store. Besides that, there was a little sitting area, a bathroom, and a kitchen. But there was always this blue and white pushke on the kitchen table. My dad, being a cab driver, always came home with a lot of change in his pocket, so he would take all the change in his pocket and put it into the pushke.

One day I asked him what he was doing and he said, “I’m filling the box.” I asked him what happens when it gets full and he said, “I take it down to the place,” which turned out to be the Federation office. “They empty it and give it to poor people, then give it back to me and I fill it up again.”

I said, “But Daddy, aren’t we poor?” He said, “Yeah, we’re poor, but there’s always somebody who’s more poor and you have to help take care of them.” I didn’t want to believe that, because nobody ever helped me. I had to do everything on my own. He made me promise that I would put money in a pushke every day. I don’t quite do it like that, but I think he’ll forgive me because I do it “in bulk.”

When did you start working?

When I was about nine. I had to work for three years to save $35 to buy a bicycle. I repaired bicycles, shoveled snow, did odd jobs. But then, my first business was at the age of twelve. I bought and sold two newspaper “corners.” The “corner” was like a franchise to be able to sell the local newspapers. It was a right, and I had to buy that right from somebody.

As a boy, were you determined to become rich?

No, I never thought about becoming wealthy. It never crossed my mind. What really motivated me was to try to accomplish something. Achievement is the motivation of entrepreneurs.

Did being Jewish always play an important role in your life?

Oh, yes. My father wasn’t very religious, but he told me his father was – my grandfather, whom I never met. My parents sent their children to Hebrew school, and on the high holidays my father would insist that we go with him to shul.

For my father, when Israel was founded it was a wonderful day. He always wanted to go to Israel, but he could never afford it. When I made enough money so that I could afford to give my parents whatever they wanted, I wanted them to go to Israel, but by then my father was too old and too sick to go.

Were they able to see you go to Israel?

No. My parents died in 1985, may they rest in peace. When my siblings and I went down to clean out their apartment, I saw a pair of his shoes. My father and I had exactly the same odd shoe size. When I used to visit my parents in North Miami Beach, we would go to the Florsheim store in Bal Harbour. It was the only store in the country where I could find more than one pair of shoes in my size. I would try to encourage my father to get shoes, but he’d always say “No, but those shoes that you just bought, take good care of my shoes.” Then in the summer, when he came to spend time with my family and me, he would take the shoes from me because I couldn’t get him to spend any money. My mother, too, was the same way. So when they passed away and we went down to clean out their apartment, I saw those shoes that he had recently taken. I took them back with me.

Holocaust Hero Recognized Nearly 50 Years After His Passing

Wednesday, December 28th, 2011

JERUSALEM – Poland’s Ambassador to Israel is proud of her compatriots who acted to save Jews during the Holocaust – but feels strongly that she can express this only if she also remembers those who chose the opposite path.

“I have the right to speak [at Holocaust memorials] only if I remember not only those who acted selflessly [to save Jews at great risk to their lives], but also those who chose the other path – to sell, and sometimes even to kill, their Jewish neighbors.”

So said Polish Ambassador Agnieszka Magdziak-Miszewska at a stirring ceremony at Yad Vashem in Jerusalem last week.

The ceremony marked the official recognition of the late Voitek Woloshtuk as a Righteous Gentile for his heroic efforts in saving five Jews from Nazi clutches – including 7-year-old Feige Bader, today Mrs. Frances Schaff of Stamford, Connecticut. It was initiated by her son, who spent close to three years searching for his mother’s rescuer, as first reported by The Jewish Press in October.

Woloshtuk, who died in 1963, was represented at the Yad Vashem rite by his last surviving daughter, Janina, and her son, a Polish Coast Guard frigate commander.

Voitek Woloshtuk's daughter Janina speaks at ceremony in honor of her late father. (Photo courtesy of Yad Vashem.)

Receiving the Yad Vashem medal and certificate of honor on her father’s behalf, Janina said, “I am proud to have been brought up by such parents, who saved five Jews at great risk to themselves simply because they believed this was the human thing to do. This medal will be preserved in my family for generations to come.”

But possibly the real story of the day was how Woloshtuk’s heroism was discovered. It was due to the efforts of Ethan Schaff, a Massachusetts lawyer who one day realized he was alive because of someone he never knew and who had never been properly thanked. He embarked on an epic search for his mother’s rescuer that took him, and her, to the dark corners of Europe – and of his mother’s memories.

Evoking tears from many at the ceremony, Schaff addressed his mother and her rescuer’s daughter and said, “The last time the two of you were in the same building was 67 years ago. My mother was on the floor above you, Janina; you could have touched her – but you didn’t know she was there.”

Voitek did not tell his children that five Jews were living in the narrow hayloft in their home – for nearly three years – for he knew that if word of his deed were to get out, it would mean certain death.

“What made Voitek take this step?” Schaff asked the assembled. “And he did it twice! Once when my mother’s brother, wife and their two children arrived at his home, and again a few weeks later when my mother, a little waif of about 7, showed up at his doorstep.”

Voitek’s name is now engraved on one of several walls bearing the names of nearly 24,000 others similarly recognized by Yad Vashem.

Found: Long-Lost Holocaust Hero

Tuesday, October 18th, 2011

How does an American Jew go about finding the Ukrainian non-Jew who, 65 years ago, saved his mother’s life by hiding her in his hayloft for three years?

For Ethan Schaff, a lawyer from Massachusetts, it was like looking for a human needle in the haystack of Eastern Europe.

In the end, after three and a half long years, Schaff succeeded in finding not the man who saved his mother – he had died in 1963 – but rather his last surviving child, Janina.

Ethan will be flying her and her son to Israel this December for an official ceremony at Yad Vashem posthumously recognizing her father, Voitek Woloshtuk, as Righteous Among the Nations – the title awarded by Yad Vashem to non-Jews who risked their lives to save Jews during the Holocaust.

* * * * *
 
Ethan’s mother was born Feige Bader in the town of Kosov – famous for being home to the Baal Shem Tov for seven years, and for the founding of the Kosover chassidic dynasty there. The youngest of ten children, she was the only one of them who survived the Holocaust – after spending three years of her childhood, from age 6 to 9, hiding in a narrow hayloft in the Woloshtuk home.

Together with little Feige, Woloshtuk also hid her older brother, his wife, and their two children. He did so at great danger to his life, as there was intense competition between local Ukrainians and Poles as to who could deliver more Jews to the Nazi Gestapo – when they were not murdering Jews themselves.

Food was in short supply during those war-torn years, and Woloshtuk, too, was having trouble keeping “his” Jews from starving. One night in 1944, toward the end of the German occupation in the area, Feige’s brother Nissan actually snuck down from the attic and left the house to rummage through garbage cans for food for his family. As detailed in the next day’s Nazi newspaper, he was found and handed over to the Gestapo, who tortured him for information on his family’s hiding place.

He divulged nothing, and they beat him to death.

Later, after the Germans fled the advancing Russians, Feige’s sister-in-law and her children also left for what they hoped was freedom – but were axed to death by Ukrainians.

“My mother was with them,” Ethan recounts, but with her legs having atrophied from her three years in the hayloft, “she couldn’t walk any longer, and fell into a ditch, which probably saved her life.”

A non-Jew picked her up and brought her to a hospital.

Unbeknownst to her, several Jews passing by later saw the victims, recognized them as the family of Nissan Bader, and remembered the incident in the Holocaust testimony they were to give decades later. This helped Ethan piece together what happened and find the man who hid and saved his mother.

* * * * *
 
Schaff’s mission to show proper gratitude to the man to whom he owes his existence began when he read The Lost: In Search of Six of Six Million. The book describes the author’s search for his own Nazi-victimized ancestors in Europe. Eventually, Schaff met the writer, Daniel Mendelsohn, who referred him to a Ukrainian guide who would help him make his way through Europe and through the history of World War II.

In 2009, Schaff and his mother Feige, now Frances Bader Schaff, set off for Europe. They began in Krakow, where she had spent some years in an orphanage after the war. They then traveled eastward to her hometown of Kosov, and found many places Frances remembered. The house in which she had been hidden was not among them, however; they later learned it was no longer standing.

They did find her brother Chaim’s house, in which a Ukrainian family now lives. Ethan knocked on the door, pointed to the mezuzah niche, and the occupants immediately understood what they wanted and let them in.

“As we entered,” Ethan said, “my mom recognized it immediately. She said, ‘There’ll be a Singer sewing machine in the corner in the next room’ – and there it was as we entered.”

In Kuty, the next town over, they met the only Jew living there, Alik Latashev, who they said was very helpful to them in many ways. Ethan later returned the favor by helping Alik and his family immigrate to the United States.

But the Schaffs still had not found their rescuer. Ethan’s goal was to have him recognized by Yad Vashem, “but I knew that without proof, no one would believe me. I had to find him, or what was left of his family.”

The first piece of written evidence he found was the book The Forest, My Friend, by Donia Rozen, who turned out to be a relative of Mrs. Schaff who had lived just one town away from Kosov. (She herself was saved by a Righteous Gentile, 65-year-old Olena Hyrhoryshyn.)

Rozen worked at Yad Vashem, where Ethan tried to contact her – only to learn++ with great frustration that she had died just two weeks before.
 
Voitek (Wojciech) Woloshtuk (front left, along with his mother);
his last surviving child, Janina, is in the back row.
 

He then found a book by an uncle/nephew pair of survivors from the Kosov area, Yehoshua and Danek Gertner, titled Home is No More. Right there, on page146, the book states: “One night, they [the Soviets] caught Nisan Beder [Feige's brother] and turned him over to the Gestapo.” 

It also states, two sentences earlier, that two Kosov Jews were hidden by a local farmer – which Voitek was.

“So I knew I had the kernel of something,” Ethan recalls.

After more months of research, Ethan found Joseph West of Australia – the author of a monograph on Kosov in which he describes a unique sight: a non-Jew named Woloszczuk crying on his front lawn as the Jews were marched into the center of Kosov to be slaughtered.

Next to be “caught” in Schaff’s net, with the help of his friend Seth Greenfield from Raanana, was Gidon Englar of Rehovot, Israel. A child of 6 when he survived the carnage of Kosov, Englar fled eastward toward the Russians and away from the murderous Ukrainians. He later described this in Yad Vashem’s Book of Kosov in the following crucial paragraph:

“About 5 km before Kuty, we saw a terrible scene: a mother and her two children murdered by axes, lying by the roadside and peasants standing nearby and laughing at us. My father [Baruch, mentioned more than once in the Gertners' book] immediately recognized them as the wife and children of Nissan Bader [Feige's brother].” 

The Englars then continued on toward a Russian patrol that rescued them; they arrived in Israel in 1946.

Next, Schaff received an all-important e-mail from Alik Latashev with information that led to the completion of the puzzle. As Ethan recalls, the e-mail “told me the road where Voitek lived and where my mother was hidden, and listed Voitek’s five children – two of whose names matched my mother’s memory. Alik also confirmed that Voitek was the farmer in Danek Gertner’s book.”

* * * * *
 
Armed with all this information, Schaff wrote to Yad Vashem, whose Righteous Gentiles committee agreed that Voitek Woloshtuk was worthy of being honored by the State of Israel. On Dec. 21, his name will thus join the nearly 24,000 other heroes who endangered their lives to save Jews during the Holocaust. 

(Only those who saved Jews with no financial or religious gain – such as for the sake of converting them to Christianity – are recognized as Righteous Among the Nations.)

Ethan and Frances/Feige Schaff will be joined by Ethan’s wife, Beth, and their son Shimon at the December ceremony. One can only imagine their thoughts at being able to stand on Jewish soil and express their appreciation to a man and his family whose humanity and courage gave them life.

And one can well understand his loved ones’ admiration for Ethan, whose tenacious desire to express his thanks is what brought the two families together once again.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/magazine/potpourri/found-long-lost-holocaust-hero-3/2011/10/18/

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