Many of the Advocates and Allies of the Jewish people - most of them heroes of the Holocaust - who we introduce you to received recognition for their selflessness and courage many years ago, and sadly many of them also passed away long ago. But this week's friend of the Jewish people, brought to us by Haaretz's Ofer Aderet, is now 100 years old and is being recognized as Righteous Among the Nations for saving a young girl from the Nazis:
Aleksandra Cybulska received the recognition, which is awarded by the Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial museum, at her home in the northern Polish town of Gdynia last Thursday. It was presented by Israel’s deputy ambassador to Poland, Ruth Cohen-Dar.
Cybulska’s husband, Kazimierz Cybulska, who died in 2002 at age 94, was also declared a Righteous Among the Nations.
The two were awarded the recognition for having protected a Jewish girl, Sonia Berkowicz. They were friends of Sonia’s parents, Gershon and Idel Berkowicz.
The Nazis deported the Berkowicz family to the Kleck ghetto near Minsk, which is now part of Belarus. In the spring of 1942, Sonia Berkowicz and her brothers knocked on the Cybulskas’ door in the village of Jakszyce and asked for food. For a few days, the Polish couple sheltered all the siblings in their home, but later, the brothers returned to the ghetto and Sonia remained there alone...