Yervante & Elbis Beurkdjian

Armenia/France

Yervante et Elbis BeurkdjianYervante et Elbis Beurkdjian

Joseph and Hélène Goldhamer were originally Polish Jews who had married in Paris in the early 1920s. Joseph Goldhamer established a small children’s clothing business and earned a respectable living. Yervante Beurkdjian, an Armenian Christian who lived with his family in Colombes, a suburb of Paris, was a regular customer. As part of the anti-Jewish legislation that began to be promulgated in October 1940, a law prescribing the “Aryanization” of Jewish property was passed in June 1941.  This measure affected Goldhamer, and the management of his business was given to an “Aryan” Frenchman who collaborated with the Germans.  The Goldhamers lost their livelihood. They left their apartment in the third arrondissement of Paris and moved into an attic in the same building, thus escaping arrest during the massive roundup of Jews in Paris on July 16, 1942.  However, their situation remained precarious. At this juncture, Yervante Beurkdjian intervened.  He invited the Goldhamers to leave their one-room lodgings and move in with his family. While his son stood watch in the street to warn them if the police showed up, Beurkdjian helped the Goldhamers move to his house. The Goldhamers remained with the six-member Beurkdjian family for eight months. Though they were not wealthy, and their apartment was small, the Beurkdjians gave the Goldhamers a room of their own and refused payment for room and board. In the spring of 1943, after repeated announcements of the severe penalties inflicted upon persons caught harboring Jews, the Goldhamers decided to leave and spare the Beurkdjians further danger. Joseph and Hélène Goldhamer left the apartment in Colombes and managed to survive the war.  They never forgot the Beurkdjians, and the two families remained close friends after the war.

On October 18, 1982, Yad Vashem recognized Yervante and Elbis Beurkdjian as Righteous Among the Nations.

 

This online story was made possible with the support of:

Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany

The Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany works to secure compensation and restitution for survivors of the Holocaust.

Since 1951, the Claims Conference - working in partnership with the State of Israel - has negotiated for and distributed payments from Germany, Austria, other governments, and certain industry; recovered unclaimed German Jewish property; and funded programs to assist the neediest Jewish victims of Nazism.