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The Process of Commemorating Deeds of Heroism

hero1by Alex Grobman, Ph.D.

Designating the Righteous

In 1953, the Knesset passed the Martyrst and Heroes’ Remembrance Law creating Yad Vashem in Jerusalem, Israel’s national memorial to the six million Jews. As part of its mandate, Yad Vashem established a Commission for the Designation of the Righteous to honor “the high minded Gentiles who risked their lives to save Jews.” The commission is chaired by a member of the Supreme Court of Israel.1

To be granted the title “Righteous Among the Nations,” the rescuer must have:

  1. On his own initiative been actively and directly involved in saving a Jew from being killed or sent to a concentration camp when the Jews were trapped in a country under the control of the Germans or their collaborators during the most dangerous periods of the Holocaust and totally dependent on the goodwill of non-Jews.
  2. Risked everything including his own life, freedom, and safety.
  3. Not received any form of remuneration or reward as a precondition for providing help.
  4. Offered proof from the survivor or incontrovertible archival evidence that the deeds had “caused” a rescue that would not otherwise have occurred and thus went beyond what might be regarded as ordinary assistance.2

Risk is the basic criterion for granting this award — not altruism. Those who aided Jews in countries that were not under Nazi rule or who had diplomatic immunity where there was little or no risk are not eligible for consideration. Jews also cannot be proposed for this honor. The three basic criteria are thus: risk, survival, and evidence.

A candidate is nominated by those who were saved. Notarized applications are sent directly to Yad Vashem through an Israeli embassy or consulate. Data requested by Yad Vashem about the rescuer include the individual’s name, approximate age at the time, present address, occupation, and marital status during the war.3

In addition to these questions, the witness-survivor is asked:

  1. To describe briefly his or her life before the start of the rescue story.
  2. How and when the rescuer was met.
  3. Who initiated the rescue.
  4. Dates and places of rescue.
  5. The nature of aid given and if this involved hiding, what were the conditions.
  6. If there were any financial arrangements.
  7. The rescuer’s motivations.
  8. The risks involved.
  9. How the cover-up story (presence of the witness) was explained to others.
  10. The relations between the witness and rescuer at the time.
  11. The name and age of others in the rescuer household who helped and the nature of assistance provided by each individual.
  12. The nature of the departure from the rescuer.
  13. The names and addresses of others who helped the rescuer.
  14. The type of incidents that occurred during the stay at the rescuer’s home.

Finally, the witness is asked to nominate the individual or individuals in the rescuer’s home for the title of “Righteous Among the Nations.”4

The commission is composed of thirty members. Practically all are survivors who come from various social strata of Israeli society. Some, for example, work in the public sector; others are professionals.5 The commission meets between twenty to twenty-five times a year, sometimes as many as thirty. They are divided into three subcommittees with ten in each. At every session they consider at least twelve cases. Each case is meticulously examined witnesses are interviewed, testimony is heard, and documents are reviewed. Certain cases are fairly straightforward; others are complex. In a situation where there is a dispute, a plenum is convened to resolve the issue. The commission works on precedent and guidelines established over the years. In this way, they avoid codifying the criteria. Common sense plays a major role in all their decisions.

In determining who should be granted this distinction, the commission has had to grapple with many complicated issues. What, for example, do you do in the following cases?

Q: When the rescuer was part of the Nazi machine of destruction?

A: Hans Calmeyer of Holland had the responsibility for separating Jews from non-Jews in cases where the lineage of an individual was unclear. To subvert the system and save Jews, he fabricated their backgrounds whenever he could. “Are you sure your father is really your father,” he would ask. “Maybe your mother had an affair.”

Whenever doubts about a person’s origins were successfully raised, deportations were postponed until further classifications could be made. The Germans were concerned about destroying precious Aryan blood, especially that of the Dutch, who were considered pure-blooded Aryens. Once Calmeyer succeeded in postponing the deportations, he would secure fake documents and affidavits from Jakarta and other cities where records would be difficult to verify. Half of the people on Calmeyers List were fabricated in this way. By playing for time Calmeyer succeeded in saving 2,800 Jews. Although part of the Nazi destruction machine he received an award from Yad Vashem because he subverted the system and saved Jewish lives.6

Kurt Gerstein was also a part of the Nazi destruction process, but his case is much more complicated. Gerstein, whose story is recounted in Rolf Hochhuth’s play The Deputy, was a member of the SS from 1941 until his death in July 1945. He briefly studied theology and medicine before becoming a mining engineer. In January 1942, Gerstein was appointed head of the Technical Disinfection Services of the Waffen SS where he was responsible for improving the efficiency of the gas chambers by procuring the highly toxic prussic acid (Zyklon B).

He claimed to have joined the SS “to carry on an active fight and learn more about the aims of the Nazis and their secrets,” after being told in 1940 by the Bishop of Stuttgart that mentally ill patients were being killed at Hadamar and Grafeneck. Among those who were murdered was his sister-in-law Bertha Ebling.7

Hitler initiated the adult euthanasia policy in the summer of 1939. Six killing centers were established beginning in 1940, although only four were operational at any one time. Adult handicapped patients were murdered in gas chambers. In August, 1941, Hitler stopped theH first phase of the killings, because of the hostility of the German public to the killings.8

In August 1942, Gerstein inspected the extermination camps at Belzec, Sobibor, and Treblinka. At Belzec near Lublin, he witnessed the gassing of a transport of Jews from Lemberg ( Lvov). On his way back to Berlin, Gerstein unexpectedly met Baron von Otter, Secretary to the Swedish Legation, on the Warsaw-Berlin Express. Gerstein confided in the Baron about the gassing and the entire destruction process, because he believed that if the extermination of the Jews was publicly acknowledged by neutral countries, the German people would de- mand that the killings be terminated immediately. For this reason, he also informed Super- intendent General Otto Dibelius of the Confessing Church, members of the Dutch resis- tance, the coadjacator of the Catholic Bishop of Berlin, the press attache at the Swiss Lega- tion in Berlin, and anyone else who he felt would spread the word about these atrocities.8

His efforts to alert the West did not halt the demise of European Jewry. The Allies already knew this information from other sources, but they were not prepared to do anything con- crete to stop the killing.10

On April 22, 1945, Gerstein surrendered to the French, who shortly thereafter arrested him as an alleged war criminal. They then took him to the Cherche-Midi Prison on July 5, 1945. Twenty days later, Gerstein was found dead in his cell.11 Whether he committed suicide out of despair and guilt in not being able to stop the destruction or whether he was murdered by other SS officers in the prison remains a mystery.

Some of the questions Yad Vashem are attempting to answer Why did Gerstein join the SS? Did he really think that he could effect a change in the Nazi Party? Didn’t his earlier failure to stop the Nazis from gaining control of the Protestant youth movements, his arrest and imprisonment in 1936 for possessing and distributing illegal pamphlets of the Confessional Church which led to his expulsion from the Nazi Party, his second arrest and incarceration in 1938 for allegedly supporting an organization that would aid in the restoration of the monarchy should there be a political coup12convince him of the futility of such actions? Why did he stay in his position to the very end of the war? Surely he did not have the rank, authority, influence, or the latitude to act in areas beyond his own responsibilities to effect significant change. Since he knew his limitations, why did he remain part of the destruction process?

In the end, despite all the risks he took, Gerstein did not save Jews. Moreover, if he committed suicide, he deprived the Allies of an important eyewitness they could have used at the Nuremberg Trials and other war crime tribunals. Given Yad Vashem’s strong misgivings about honoring Germans who were part of the destruction process, the outcome of this case is being watched with interest.13

Q: When a non-Jew saves a Jew who has voluntarily converted? When the person who saves a Jew is a Gentile but was born a Jew? Is this still a case of a Jew helping a Jew?

A: A Jewish woman who converted to Christianity in 1939, married a non-Jewish Pole in 1943. Since her husband saved her during the war, the woman nominated him for a Yad Vashem award. The request was denied. The commission has ruled that if a non-Jew saves a converted Jew, who has freely severed his or her link to the Jewish people, the individual is ineligible. This also applies to a converted Jew who saves a Jew. If the Jew converted during the war to save himself, however, he can be considered for the award.

The rationale is that although a Jew who converts to another religion is a Jew according to Halacha Uewish law), the individual no longer wants to be part of the Jewish people. He or she should not then be considered a Jew for the purposes of this award. In this case, when the Pole married this conversed Jewish woman, he was marrying a Catholic woman, not a Jewish one. The marriage ceremony even took place in the church.14

Q: When an antisemite rescues a Jew?

A: Before the war, Zofia Kossak-Szatkowska, a pious Polish Catholic from a prominent family, had distinguished herself as a writer of historical novels. As a nationalist with wellknown right-wing sympathies and membership in the Catholic organization Front for a Reborn Poland (F.O.P.), she did not appear to be someone likely to champion the cause of oppressed Jews.

Nevertheless, she actively worked with the underground as a representative of the F.O.P. During the summer of 1942, Zofia wrote “The Protest,” an illegal leaflet condemning the “annihilation” of the Jews and the silence of America, England, and the Poles. “This silence,” she asserted, “can no longer be tolerated. Whatever the reason for it, it is vile … Whoever is silent … becomes a partner to the murder. Whoever does not condemn, consents.”

Although she demanded that Catholics and Poles raise their voices in protest against these atrocities, she assured them that they need not give up their negative attitude toward Jews. “We continue to deem them political, economic, and ideological enemies of Poland,” (but this does) “not release us from the duty of damnation of murder.” Zofia’s call for the establishment of an underground organization to saveJews, which she made after the publications of the leaflet was realized on December 4, 1942, when the Council for Aid to dews (known by its crode name “Zegota”) came into existence.

Zofia did not become a member of the Council but she did continue her work with the Jews as well as her other activities in the underground. This led to her capture in 1943 and incarceration in Auschwitz for almost a year. After being discharged, she began saving Jewish children by placing them in convents and other religious institutions.

Zofia received an award from Yad Vashem because of her efforts, despite her antisemitic views. Although Zofia and the small number of other antisemitic rescuers viewed the pres- encc of Jews in Poland as a social and economic threat to their well-being, they did not envision systematic mass murder as the solution. Some were concerned that their antisemitic views might have “indirectly or symbolically” played a role in the extermination of theJews.

The war stripped the Jews of these negative attributes, revealing a people who, despite their strange and different ways, were part of a common struggle with the Poles against the Nazis. The Jews were now seen as human beings, as the underdogs, who were badly in need of help. To atone for their antisemitic attitudes, these rescuers tried to save Jews.15

Q: When priests and other clergy baptized Jewish children to raise them as Christians?

A: When Jewish parents entrusted their children to the church for safe-keeping before he- ing deported to the concentration and extermination camps, they expected to get them back at the end of the war. Many baptized children were returned, but large numbers were not. The exact number that were not given back to the Jewish people will never be known. Girls were the most difficult to find.

Children were baptized because conversion significantly lessened the danger of their being discovered16 by the Nazis and their collaborators. Once a child became immersed in Catholicism, the possibility that the individual’s true origins would be revealed were greatly diminished. Catholicism also offered a sense of security and comfort to the children. After the war, many children had difficulty giving up Catholicism and returning to Judaism.17

Nuns and priests who sheltered Jewish children were given awards from Yad Vashem even if they converted their charges and were reluctant to return them after the war. For the most part, they had acted on their own, since the Vatican and the Polish clergy had not articu- lated a clear-cut policy about the systematic mass murder of the Jewish people.

Q: When money was paid. Was it acceptable to share in household expenses?

A: As long as sharing in the household expenses was not a precondition for sheltering Jews, it was permissible to do so. This was especially true if the Pole had little or no money, and the Jew had the means to help. Securing food took a lot of ingenuity and daring during wartime when food was quite scarce.18

Q: When a rescuer shelters a Jew for a year and then expels him?

A: The circumstances of how the Jew left the protection of his rescuer is the main issue in this case. If the rescuer asked the Jew to leave without any means of finding another haven, then he is ineligible. If the rescuer could not shelter him anymore but secured another place of refuge for the]ew, then the non-Jew is eligible.19

Q: When collaborators — Ukrainians, French, Italians — saved Jews for political reasons?

A: There are several types of individuals who fit this category, including:

  1. Those who were pro-German because they believed that Nazi ideology would further tile national aspirations of their country.
  2. Those who participated in a paramilitary unit.
  3. Those who advocated Nazi victory and called upon their fellow countrymen for their help to ensure this triumph.

If these people saved Jews they could, in rare instances, be eligible for consideration.

Q: What about public figures who saved Jews but called for close cooperation with the Nazis?

A: The problem of awarding the Righteous title to a person in this category can be seen in the case of Metropolitan Andreas Sheptitsky of Lvov, who had hidden about 150 Jews in monasteries in eastern Galicia. He did not receive an award from Yad Vashem despite his having rescured Jews. The reason? According to Mordechai Paldiel, “His advocacy of a German victory, his call for Ukrainians to join Nazi units, and his silence at the wholesale pogroms of Jews by his own countrymen, taking place right under his own window, dis- qualified him in the eyes of Yad Vashem to bear the Righteous title. For a man in his position (head of an important church in Ukraine), to remain silent at the killings of Jews, in which his own people participated, and at the same time, to call for a Nazi victory, morally canceled out his involvement in saving a handful of Jews.”

There were also individuals who belonged to the fascist movements, such as the “Milice Francaise” in France and the Iron Cross in Hungary, who saved Jews. People who joined these groups would have “great difficulty” in being awarded the Righteous title, “since such units participated in wholesale criminal activities, and it would have to be proved that can- didates for the Righteous title did not smear their hands with innocent blood.”

Those who donned the uniform of the SS in Latvia and Ukraine to pacify the countryside but saved a Jew or even several Jews cannot be considered. Saving some Jews while participating in the mass destruction of hundreds or thousands of others does not absolve them of their crimes.

Guards at a concentration or extermination camp are in the same category, even if they helped save a few Jewish lives. They did not have to serve at the camp since they could have been excused from their positions without retribution.20

Q: When individuals were part of the German civil service administration?

A: When Hitler and Stalin partitioned Poland in 1939, Zloczow, a town in Galicia, became part of the Soviet Union. On July 1, 1941, more than 3,000 of Zloczow’s 16,000Jews were murdered by the Nazis after they had invaded Russia. The rest were herded into a ghetto.

In December 1941, Josef Meyer, a German civil servant, approached Solomon Altmann, a lawyer who now managed a bakery, to offer his help to the Jewish community. As director of the district department of agriculture and food procurement, Meyer was able to double the number of people listed as employed by his department so that he could increase the food allocation to the ghetto. He also established a free kitchen there. To justify the large quantities of food being consumed, Meyer kept books showing that the food had been sent to army units and business firms, all of which were fictitious.

To increase the number of Jews legitimately working and thus spare them from being sent to the gas chambers, Meyer established a candy factory. When he heard that 1,000 Jewish inmates at a nearby labor camp were to be killed unless the typhus epidemic in the camp decreased significantly, he smuggled in soap and medicine which saved them.

In January 1943, the Gestapo arrested Meyer but released him for lack of evidence after three days of intensive interrogation. Just before the Germans liquidated the Zloczow ghetto in April 1943, Meyer arranged with the Strassler brothers, who operated the candy factory, to dig a tunnel large enough to hide thirty people. For almost a year, the Strassler group lived in the tunnel, which was 20 feet below the market square. The Germans suspected that Jews were hiding in the area, but the dews were so far below ground that they could not be detected by the German dogs. Cooking smoke was vented through one of the sewers.

Meyer provided the food and whatever else they required to sustain themselves. At the same time, Meyer arranged for a Pole to hide Altmann, his son, and Altmann’s father in a bunker behind a barn. Mrs. Altmann went to Warsaw, where friends took care of her after Meyer secured Aryan identity papers for her and then drove her to Lvov and put her on the train. Meyer also found refuge for Altman’s handyman Josef and ]osef’s wife.

When the Red Army liberated the town in July 1944, all the Jews that Meyer had pro- tected were still alive, although by then he had been evacuated westward by the German army. In 1965, Meyer visited Israel where he was honored by Yad Vashem. Although he had been part of the German civil service, he circumvented the rules and, at enormous risk to himself, had saved Jewish lives. In his testimony to Yad Vashem, Solomon Altmann noted “The fact that he saved our lives is certainly important. But the fact that Herr Meyer kept alive our belief in man is even more important.21

Q: When a rescuer was a member of the German military?

A: The highest ranking German officer to receive recognition by Yad Vashem is Major Max Liedtke. On July 26, 1942, Liedtke, a 46-year-old commander of the local garrison in Przemysl, Poland, ordered his troops to shoot any member of the SS who tried to deport the 80 Jews that he was protecting at his headquarters. A violent confrontation at a bridge over the San River was averted when the SS decided not to force the issue.

Liedtke was transferred to the Russian front for his action but without being stripped of his rank. He was captured and later died in a camp in the Urals.22

Q: When a person saved a Jew at the end of the war; for example, April 25, 1945?

A: If the rescue took place in an area still under Nazi control and involved real risk, the rescuer would most probably receive an award. If the rescuer had a questionable wartime record, however, and saved a Jew to avoid answering for his actions or he feared prosecution, he may be ineligible for consideration.23

Q: When a couple who save a Jewish child refuse to give up the child and the only the way to get the child back is by kidnapping?

A: Some of those who saved Jewish children became so emotionally attached to their charges that they would not willingly give them back to the parents or if the parents had died, to representatives of the Jewish community. Kidnapping became the only available option to retrieve the children and ensure that they be raised as Jews.

Even under these circumstances, Yad Vashem recognized them for having risked their lives to save Jews. Some of these couples might have taken the children because they were childless. Motivation is not a concern, because these people did not ask to be compensated. That they had difficulty in returning the children demonstrated the strong attachments that had developed between child and adoptive parents.24

The decision by Yad Vashem, to honor only rescuers who saved Jews has meant that some people who deserve special recognition are ineligible to receive this award. An example will illustrate the problem.

A girl was born to a Jewish father and a Christian mother in the early 1930s and raised in the Christian faith. According to Jewish law, the child was Christian because the religion of a child is determined by the religion of the mother. Although Jewish law regarded her as a Christian, the Nazis considered her a Jew because one of her parents was Jewish.

The father fled Munich in 1939 with the hope of finding a haven for his family. The family ultimately found refuge in a village where they were protected for two years by the mayor. After the war, the family sent an application to Yad Vashem on behalf of the mayor. The application was turned down because the girl he had saved was technically not Jewish.25

Perhaps one solution might be to have a separate award for those who saved a non-Jew.

The Ceremony

Rescuers are honored at a public ceremony at Yad Vashem. Until Yad Vashem ran out of space, a carob tree was planted by the rescuer along the Avenue of the Righteous, which leads to the museum. The individual’s name and nationality were inscribed on a plaque at its base. Some have wrongly ascribed religious significance to this choice because the bean pods of the tree sustained John the Baptist during his wanderings in the wilderness (Mark 1:6). 26 Yad Vashem chose the carob tree because the tree is a perennial, is sturdy and strong, but not dominating like the cypress tree, which is associated with pride.27

Now the rescuer’s name is placed on the Wall of Honor. The ceremony begins at Ohel Yizkor (the Hall of Remembrance) where a cantor recites the Kel Maleh Rachamim (God who is merciful) and the Mourner’s Kaddish (prayer that glorifies God’s name), and then the rescuer re- kindles the eternal flame. The main prayer is said in the rescuer’s native language. A wreath is then placed on the vault containing ashes of the Holocaust victims.

The ceremony continues at the Wall of Honor where the rescuer’s name is unveiled. If the rescuer has not yet received a medal that bears his name and a certificate of honor from an Israeli embassy abroad, the presentation is made at this point. They are inscribed with the Talmudic adage that states, “He who saves one life is considered as having saved the whole universe.” The rescuer is then invited to say a few words; those who were saved then speak.

As the survivors enter their twilight years, the number of applications have increased dramatically. The first nomination from the former Soviet Union arrived in 1989. A full-time person fluent in Russian has been added to the staff to deal with the very significant requests from the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS). The program will come to an end within the next decade.

Not everyone awarded the title “Righteous Among the Nations” is willing to accept this honor. A number refuse to acknowledge that they are heroes. Some disapprove of Israeli government policies. Those in Eastern Europe who admit to having saved Jews run the risk of being ostracized or worse. In the immediate post-war period, in Poland, Ukraine, and Lithuania some rescuers have been murdered.28

What type of individual would risk his or her life to save a Jew? Nechama Tec, a professor of sociology who survived the Holocaust by passing as a Christian with the help of Christian Poles, has isolated several characteristics which shed light on this question.

Characteristics of rescuers included:

  1. A high level of individuality, independence, and self-reliance that caused them “to pursue personal goals regardless of how these goals” were perceived by others.
  2. A commitment and involvement in helping the needy that had preceded the war.
  3. A belief that their rescue activities were not heroic or extraordinary but part of their duty.
  4. An “unplanned and gradual beginning of rescue at times involving a sudden, even impulsive move”.
  5. A “universalistic perception of the needy” that “overshadowed all other attributes except their dependence on aid.”29

Pierre Sauvage, the noted film maker, asserts that religious belief was another significant characteristic of rescuers that has not been adequately addressed. His award-winning documentary, Weapons of the Spirit, relates the story of the Protestant village of Le Chambon in southern France that hid 5,000 dews, including he and his family, during the Nazi occupation. As a pioneer in the field of the Righteous, he has interviewed many rescuers. He is convinced that religion has played a far greater role in motivating them then is generally recognized. If true, as I believe it is, this issue needs to be studied further.

Celestine Loen, a Hungarian housewife who saved 32 Jews in the basement of her Budapest apartment house, is a rescuer who fits this profile. A native of Yugoslavia, she and her family fled to Budapest after the Nazis annexed part of their native land in 1942. The war had radically changed her upper-class lifestyle. She no longer enjoyed the services of a chauffeur and two housekeepers nor took luxurious vacations. Rather than dwell on her own losses, she became actively involved in saving Jewish lives.

When she heard stories about the extermination camps and saw the Jewish ghetto in Budapest being established during the latter part of 1944, she regularly began visiting the ghetto to bring her friends news about the outside world and to smuggle them food and radios. On one visit, a guard questioned her reason for entering the ghetto. “Those damn Jews owe me money, and I’m here to collect!” she declared. The guard let her pass.

Jews who were able to escape the ghetto found refuge in the basement of Loen’s apartment building. From the middle of 1944 through early 1945, she sheltered 32 Jews. Through contacts developed with farmers, she secured enough food — including fresh Mrs. Celestine Loen vegetables, flour, and sometimes fat geese — to feed her family and her charges. A local baker was bribed to bake large quantities of bread.

Sympathetic neighbors and the janitor never complained about the danger involved in hiding Jews in the building. Inexplicably, not all neighbors were aware that their apartment building had become a haven, perhaps because there were never more than eleven Jews in hiding at one time.

During air raids, when the building residents would flee to the basement, the Jews sought refuge in cars parked across the street from the building. When one neighbor became suspicious of one of the Jews, Loen had the suspect dressed up and introduced as a Presbyterian minister.

She also had to hide her activities from some members of her own family who were Nazi sympathizers. But others were more helpful. The family had lost a number of aunts, uncles, and cousins during the war, including Loen’s son, who was killed while fighting with the Resistance in Yugoslavia.

Soviet troops liberated Budapest in January 1945 and shortly thereafter the Jews left the Loens. Some remained in contact with her after the war. In 1947, she emigrated to the United States. Although she never discussed her wartime rescue activities, a number of Jews informed Yad Vashem of her exploits. In May 1966, members of the Jewish Hungarian Club brought her to Israel to thank her personally for saving their lives. She also received a medal and certificate of honor from Yad Vashem. In 1985, a tree bearing her name was planted along the Avenue of the Righteous. She died at the age of 94 in Hacienda Heights, California, not knowing why the Jewish community had gone to such lengths to thank her for something she felt was simply her responsibility as a human being.30

For all our valiant efforts to find the rescuers, their names are “largely unrecorded and their good deeds remain anonymous and unrewarded, except in the emotions of those they saved” observed Sybil Milton, a Holocaust historian.31 Some Jews and their rescuers were killed during the war; others died later, leaving no one to tell their stories. Still others, rescued and rescuers, were unable to locate each other after so many years of separation.

Although we will never know the precise number of rescuers who savedJews, we can learn much from the testimonies of those we have documented. As Sholem Asch, the noted Jewish writer, acknowledged “It is of the highest importance not only to record and recount, both for ourselves and for the future, the evidences of human degradation, but side by side with them to set forth the evidences of human elevation and nobility. Let the epic of heroic deeds of love, as opposed by those of hatred, of rescue as opposed to destruction, bear equal witness to unborn generations.”32


1 Moshe Bejski, “The Righteous Among the Nations and Their Part in the Rescue of Jews,” in Rescue Attempts During the Holocaust, Yisrael Gutman and Efraim Zuroff, eds. (Jerusalem Yad Vashem, 1977) p. 628.

2 Mordecai Paldiel, The Path of the Righteous, Gentile Rescuers of Jews During theHolocaust (Hoboken New Jersey, KTAV Publishing House, 1993), p.5.

3 Interview with Dr. Mordecai Paldiel, September 18, 1994.

4 Yad Vashem Questionnaire for Righteous Among The Nations. Yad Vashem, Jerusalem: Yad Vashem.

Paldiel, op. cit., p.5.

6 Interview with Dr. Mordecai Paldiel, September 18, 1994.

7 Saul Friedlander, Kurt Gerstein The Ambiguity of Good (New York Alfred Knopf, 1969), p.74.

8 Henry Friedlander, The Origins of Nazi Genocide From Euthanasia To The Final Solution (Chapel Hill The University of North Carolina Press, 1995) pp. 86-110.

Saul Friedlander, op.cit. pp. 126, 128- 129.

10 Walter Laqueur, The Terrible Secret Suppression of the Truth about Hitler’s Final Solution (Boston Little, Brown arid Company, 1980).

11 Saul Friedlander, op.cit. p. 220.

12 Ibid pp. 54-55.

13 Interview with Dr. Mordecai Paldiel, September 18, 1994.

14 Ibid.

15 Nechama Tec, When Light Pierced The Darkness: Christian Rescue of Jews in Nazi-Occutied Poland (New York: Oxford University Press, 1986), pp. 104-112; and Joseph Kermish, “The Activities of the Council for Aid to Jews (Zegota) in Occupied Poland,” in Rescue Attempts During the Holocaust, op.cit., pp. 367-398.

16 Ibid., p. 147. See also Saul Friedlander, When Memory Comes, translated from the French by Helen Lane (New York Avon Books, 1980).

17 Ibid., p. 143.

18 Interview with Dr. Mordecai Paldiel, September 18, 1944.

19 Ibid.

20 Ibid.

21 Ibid. See also Paldiel, op.cit., pp. 163-165.

22 Martyrdom and Resistance. January-February, 1994, p.9. See also, Eric Silver, The Book of the Just (NewYork Grove Press, 1992),pp. 137-147.

23 Interview with Dr. Mordecai Paldiel, September 18, 1994.

24 Ibid.

25 Ibid.

26 Peter Hellman, Avenue of the Righteous: Portraits in Uncommon Courage of Christians and the Jews They Saved from Hitler (New York Atheneum, 1980), p. ix.

27 Interview with Dr. Mordecai Paldiel, September 18, 1994.

28 Ibid.

29 Nechama Tec, op. cit., p 180.

30 Los Angeles Times and an interview with Masha Loen, her daughter-in-law, September 20, 1994.

31 Sybil Milton,”The Righteous Who Helped Jews” in Genocide: Critical Issues of the Holocaust. Alex Grobman and Daniel Landes, eds. p. 282.

32 Philip Friedman, Their Brothers’ Keepers (New York Crown Publishers, 1957), pp. 13 – 14.