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'God Sent You to Me'

Konon and Anna Kalyuta (Photo: Yad Vashem)

Konon and Anna Kalyuta

During World War II, the Ukrainian village of Mlynek was the home of many Baptists, a community led by Pastor Konon Kalyuta. In September of 1942, a 20-year-old Jewish girl named Fanya Rozenfeld was the only member of her family to survive the Nazis' liquidation of the local ghetto. She escaped being murdered, and was hidden by the local Christian community.

Because of Fanya's extensive knowledge of the Old Testament, she began attending Bible studies led by Konon. During his sermons, Konon told his congregation of the need to save Jewish lives, inspiring them to shelter fleeing Jews. The church nicknamed young Fanya "Saint Feodosiya," and together began sheltering her and other Jews who had escaped the Nazis. One member of the congregation told of Pastor Konon's inspiration: "God sent you to me, and I consider it an honor to save Jews."

Along with other members of their church, Konon and Anna Kalyuta were named Righteous Among the Nations by Yad Vashem in 1995.

Tags: Advocates and Allies

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