Irena Hamerska, Poland

In Legionow, Poland, in 1942, Irena’s closest friend Leokadia smuggled in a Jewish girl out of the ghetto. Shifra, as the girl was called, lived in Leokadia’s apartment where Irena would often come to visit. Together, the women took care of their ”little sister.” They worked different shifts at their jobs so that someone was always home to take care of the girl and make sure that no one knew she was there. Shifra stayed at the apartment until liberation, when her father came back to Legionow looking for her.

By this time, Shifra had almost forgotten her father and had become a stranger to him, so she refused to leave the women. Because of this, Irena, Leokadia, and Shifra’s father decided to live together in the apartment for a few months, so that Shifra could become used to her father again. In 1946, the father and daughter left for Palestine.

Edited by Lauren Goldfarb