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She Saved Many Jews, Including Her Future Husband

Elisabeta Strul (Photo: Yad Vashem)

Elisabeta (Nicopoi) Strul

Life: 1920-2013

Why you should know her: A Romanian seamstress, Elisabeta (Nicopoi) Strul saved many of her Jewish neighbors during the Holocaust, including the man she would marry.

On June 28, 1941, occupying Nazi forces and complicit Romanian police carried out an assault on the Jewish community of Iasi. Thousands were murdered. 4,000 survived, and were placed in train cars, where 2,650 suffocated or died of thirst.

This was not to be the fate of many who were close to Elisabeta Nicopoi, however. The seamstress lived and worked in Iasi, where many of her neighbors and coworkers were Jewish. The 21-year-old Gentile learned of the plot to harm her city's Jews, and hurried to warn those who lived nearby.

One of her coworkers, a young Jewish man named Marcus Strul, learned of the impending danger from Elisabeta, and alerted his mother, father, and siblings. Elisabeta was able to warn many others, as well.

Not only did Elisabeta warn her neighbors, she was able to hide 20 of them - including the entire Strul family - in a storeroom for two weeks, sneaking them food. Some of the men she hid were later sent to forced-labor camps. Elisabeta traveled to where they were sent, bringing clothing and food. Because of her actions, Elisabeta was arrested, beaten, and detained. But that did not stop her kind actions.

After the war, Elisabeta and Marcus were married, and in 1963 they made aliyah (immigrated) to Israel, where Elisabeta lived until she passed away in Haifa in 2013. But many years before, this brave woman was named Righteous Among the Nations by Yad Vashem in 1987.

Tags: Advocates and Allies

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