‘You Can Take My Body, But Not My Soul’

The Fellowship  |  August 28, 2019

Sender Appelboim
Sender Appelboim

Mefodiy and Kseniya Logatzky were a Baptist farming couple raising their family in Ukraine when World War II broke out. Because of the family’s Christian faith, they knew the Jewish people were God’s children and that it was their duty to protect Jews from the ravaging Nazi occupiers. When the local ghetto where Jews had been confined was about to be liquidated in 1942, Mefodiy warned his Jewish friends of the danger and began sheltering them in his house. A handful of Jews that trusted the Christian farmer were saved by hiding in his home.

Later that year, Shlomo Appelboim and his son Sender (pictured above) knocked on the Logatzky’s farmhouse door. The two Jews were welcomed warmly into the family’s home. The family fed and sheltered their new Jewish friends and promised them that someday they would reach the Promised Land.

The next spring, Shlomo and Sender left the farm to join the anti-Nazi resistance living and fighting in the nearby forest. This decision saved their lives.

The Nazis had intensified their searches of homes in the area. Four of the Jews who had been hiding in the Logatzky’s home since the liquidation of the ghetto also escaped. But two other Jewish friends, Lyova and Srulik, stayed. No sooner had the other Jews left, Nazi soldiers arrived to search the farm. There they found the hidden Jews, who were shot on the spot.

Mefodiy was hauled off by the Nazis, who tortured and interrogated the poor farmer. The Nazis asked him if he knew the consequences for helping Jews.

Mefodiy looked at his persecutors and said: “You can take my body, but not my soul.”

The Nazis exected Mefodiy Logatzky, then burned down his farm and stole all of his livestock.

Kseniya was now a widow with two young children. Until the end of the war, the remaining family was not only homeless, but forced into hiding.

Sender Appelboim survived fighting with the anti-Nazi resistance and made aliyah (immigrated) to the Holy Land, just as his rescuers had promised he would do. He remained in contact with the Logatzky family and in 1989 successfully lobbied for Mefodiy, Kseniya, and Darya Logatzky to be named  Righteous Gentiles.

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