(December 23, 2008 - Jerusalem) Jozef and Bronislawa Jaszczuk, Righteous Among the Nations from Poland, were posthumously honored at Yad Vashem for rescuing Jews during the Holocaust. The ceremony took place in the auditorium of the Valley of the Communities and was followed by the unveiling of the name of the Righteous in the Garden of the Righteous Among the Nations. The ceremony took place in Hebrew, in the presence of the survivor, Genowefa (Genia) Ben Ezra, adopted daughter of the Righteous.
In October 1942, Rachel and Moshe Tyrangiel, aided by a local priest, smuggled their two young daughters out of the forced labor camp Kopernikus, near Minsk-Mazowiecki, Poland. Two-year old Guta and year-old Esther were each entrusted into the hands of a different Christian family.
Jozef and Bronislawa Jaszczuk, from Minsk-Mazowiecki took in the young Guta, gave her a new name, Genowefa Filipiak, to hide her Jewish identity, and presented her as their niece. Fearing that their neighbors might denounce them, the couple chose to abandon their home, gathered together their belongings and the young Guta, and went to live in the forest. Jozef and Bronislawa cared for Guta with dedication, as if she were their own daughter, receiving no remuneration for their devoted care. After the war, the couple adopted Guta.
Genowefa, today Genia, lived in Poland until the early 1960’s when she moved to France and later on Canada. In 2000, she made aliyah to Israel. Genia has two daughters and five grandchildren. The fate of Esther, Guta’s young sister who was cared for by a different family in a different town, is unknown until this day. Their parents, Rachel and Moshe Tyrangiel did not survive the Holocaust.
Over 22,000 individuals have been recognized as Righteous Among the Nations. See here for more information about the Righteous Among the Nations program.