‘He Was Going to Take Care of Me’

‘He Was Going to Take Care of Me’

Credit:(Photo: Yad Vashem)

Jozef Szczur

Life: December 8, 1894 – February 28, 1982

A Polish Christian, Jozef Szczur lived in the town of Tarnow with his Jewish wife, working as a mechanic at a fertilizer factory. But when the Nazis invaded Poland, Jozef’s wife was taken from him and murdered in a concentration camp.

A couple years later, another Jewish woman found herself on the run from the murderous Nazis. Klara Tabak had escaped a concentration camp, finding shelter in Krakow with Christian friends. Klara had false identification papers that said she was an “Aryan,” but she was still unsafe. Her friends suggested that she go to the home of Jozef Szczur.

Upon Klara’s arrival, Jozef told her the story of what had happened to his wife. Klara tells of the love that quickly grew between them:

I could not hide my origins from him. I felt safe at his home and I told him that I was a Jew. He approached me, kissed me and told me not to be afraid, because he was going to take care of me.

Not only did Jozef save Klara’s life, but the two were wed. After the war, the couple made aliyah (immigrated) to Israel, where they adopted the last name Shor. On December 19, 1974, Jozef Szczur was named a Righteous Gentile by Yad Vashem for the life he had saved.

Tags: Advocates and Allies

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