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- Marie Taquet, Belgium
Marie Taquet was born in Luxembourg in 1898 to a family of practicing Catholics. When she was twenty, she married an officer in the Belgian army. During the occupation of Belgium in 1942, her husband was assigned to direct Reine Elizabeth Castle, a school for children of the military in Jamoigne, Belgium. Her husband did [...]
- Cathie Poirier-Prous, France
Pierrette-Marcelle (Cathie) Poirier-Prous (1909-?) rescued 236 Jewish children and numerous Jewish adults between 1941 and 1944. In 1941, recently widowed, she moved to Poitiers, where she was alarmed to see Jewish children marked with the yellow star. The concentration camp nearby, Route de Limoges, released the children each day, to be fed by local Jewish [...]
- Daria Striletska, Ukraine
In December 1941, the Jews of Dobrushino, Ukraine, were ordered to report with their belongings to the village marketplace. One mother, Tsilya, separated herself and her three children from the group and went to the two-room house where her neighbor, Daria Striletska, lived with her own three children.
For two weeks, both mothers and all six [...]
- Ellen Nielsen, Denmark
In 1941 Mrs. Ellen Nielsen, a widowed fishmonger on the Copenhagen docks, hid two Jewish brothers in her home with her six children while she arranged their escape with local fishermen. As a fishmonger, Mrs. Nielsen was ideally situated to link the fishermen with the Danish Underground. She helped over a hundred refugees escape to [...]
- Galena Burtschik, Ukraine
In June 1941, war broke out while Galina Burtschik was visiting her grandmother in Pereiaslaw-Chmelnizki, Ukraine. Her mother, Anna, traveled from their home in Kiev to fetch her. However, the return trip proved impossible, so Anna and Galina remained trapped in the village. In 1943, Anna was approached by four bedraggled children, aged four to [...]
- Jadviga Konochowicz, Belarus
On December 17, 1941 – the 5th night of Hanukkah – the German army and their Polish collaborators massacred 500 Jews in Jody, Poland (now in Belarus). Within a month, another 100 Jews were captured and murdered. Alter Silverman and his sister, Chaiye Rivke Smuszkowicz, each with three teenage children, hid with Christian neighbours. Late [...]
- Vera Laska
Vera (Oravec) Laska, who was not Jewish, joined the Czech Underground in 1938, at the age of 15. Vera and her friends hiked and skied the trails in southern Slovakia, so they knew the area well. They escorted POWs and Jews across the border. Vera worked out of Czech Underground Headquarters in Budapest until her [...]
- Sara Salkaházi, Slovakia
Sára Salkaházi was born May 11, 1899 in Kassa (Slovakia). A member of the Sisters of Social Service, a charity organization helping the poor, Sára Salkaházi was a journalist, a writer and a cultural activist. She helped to shelter hundreds of Jews in a convent in 1944. The Sisters of Social Service saved over a [...]
- Janina Pawlicka, Poland
Janina Pawlicka worked in Lodz as housemaid to the Aronson family, owners of a textile plant. When they fled to Warsaw, she joined them. Janina helped dozens of Jews in the ghetto. The Aronsons, like hundreds of others, fell prey to the infamous Hotel Polski Trap, which offered visas to South America. They were not [...]
- Lea Bardone, France
Lea Bardone was born in Italy in 1916 and grew up in Brignoud, France. During the war, Lea and her husband ran a café, which became the headquarters for underground activities saving countless Jewish people. Identity and work papers were forged in one of the café’s back rooms.
Lea established a great reputation for staying calm [...]
- Anne Marie Guillot, France
Born and raised in a farming family in the south of France, Anne Marie Guillot was thirty-four years old and married, but childless, at the outbreak of war in 1939.
Anne Marie spent the war years in Sainte-Bazeille, where she and her husband ran a general store. Their location was in the unoccupied Free Zone, but [...]
- Esta Heiber, Poland
Esta Heiber was born in Warsaw in 1905. Her family died in the ghetto. Esta and her husband joined the Belgian Résistance. At great personal risk, they placed Jewish children in hiding. Esta kept coded records and oversaw distribution of money and food stamps. She hid her own son with a Catholic family.
In 1943, the [...]
- Maria Kotarba, Poland
Maria Kotarba, a Catholic, vowed to help the Jews after the extermination of her Jewish neighbors. She joined the Resistance and was later betrayed and sent to Auschwitz. As a political prisoner, Maria worked in the gardening Kommando. She smuggled medicine to prisoner-doctors by joining a group of prisoners going to the infirmary, escorted by [...]