Elderly Polish Woman Reunites with the Holocaust Survivor She Saved


yad-vashemAn 86-year-old Polish-Catholic woman will be among the crowd at the opening ceremony of the 19th Maccabiah Games. Czeslawa Zak had always dreamed of flying to Israel to reunite, after all these years, with those Jews she and her family had saved during the Holocaust. This week, thanks to a fundraising campaign launched by March of the Living Canada, it has come true.

For two years and seven months, Zak and her family provided shelter to 14 Jews from several different families, in their Warsaw apartment. In 1993, the Yad Vashem Holocaust museum recognized Zak as a Righteous Among the Nations – people who risked their lives to save Jews from extermination by the Nazis.

On three separate occasions, German soldiers searched their apartment. At one point, when they came very close to the hideout, Zak got them to back away by saying the back room was filled with rabbits she was breeding and that she feared they might escape if they opened the entryway.

{Matzav.com Israel News Bureau}


  1. Interesting picture you’ve chosen to accompany the article. In a story about a non-Jewish woman who risked her life to save Jews, you show a picture of hateful graffiti sprayed by anti-Zionist hoodlums who chose the walls of Yad Vashem to deliver their hateful message. The juxtaposition is sobering. Some non-Jews will risk life and limb for the sake of their Jewish neighbors, while some Jews will stop at nothing to cause pain to, and sow seeds of hatred among, their fellow Jews simply for holding halachic or hashkafic positions different from their own. Less than a week after Tisha B’Av, let’s take this woman’s sacrifice as a reminder that “banim atem laShem Elokechem” — achenu beis yisroel are a diverse group, but we are brothers and sister nonetheless. Let’s start acting like it.


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