Polish WWII saviors of Jews honored

Polish WWII saviors of Jews honored

A 97-year-old Polish woman and her late husband were honored by Israel’s Yad Vashem Institute on Friday as ‘righteous gentiles.’

Max Halpern (CR)and the woman who saved him Bronislawa Golonka (CL) with Halpern's family, who travelled to Poland from Israel. Photo: PAP/Maciej Kulczynski

Max Halpern (CR)and the woman who saved him Bronislawa Golonka (CL) with Halpern’s family, who traveled to Poland from Israel. Photo: PAP/Maciej Kulczynski

Bronislawa Golonka and her husband Jan provided shelter to a five-person Jewish family on a farm near Bochnia, southern Poland, during the German occupation of Poland.

Max Halpern, one of the children saved by the couple, spent many years searching for the Golonka family.

He and family members traveled from Israel to the city of Wroclaw, south west Poland, to be reunited with his wartime savior.

Halpern recalled how the Golonka family created a special hiding place on their farm.

“They dug a hole in a barn, and covered it with planks and we stayed there for about seven to eight months until the Red Army came,” he remembered.

“They were a very noble family,” he said.

According to laws laid down by the Nazi German regime, those who aided Jews could be summarily executed along with their immediate family.

A second family that helped the Halperns during the war was honored by Yad Vashem in 1989.

(nh)

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