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Saturday, November 24, 2007

Heroine of the Day

Here:
It has been 62 years since deaf and mute Irena Walulewicz risked her life to save a Jewish neighbor from the Nazis, but her heroism was never forgotten.

"I've thought about her so much," Golda Bushkanietz said tearfully as she hugged her savior for the first time since 1945 at Kennedy Airport Friday.

"I'm 94. I never thought I would see her again. I cannot fully express how grateful I am."

Desperate and terrified, Bushkanietz staggered into the Walulewicz household in Swieciany, Poland, after escaping a ghetto whose population the Nazis were preparing to kill.

"I knocked on a window and they let me in," said Bushkanietz.

"I thought there was an angel in the house."

For six months, the Catholic Walulewicz and her mother, Zofia, hid and fed Bushkanietz in their attic.

"I still remember lying under Irena's bed, trying to keep quiet because the family had friends in their house," said Bushkanietz.

"They opened their home and their hearts to me, risking their own lives in order to save me. Their altruism and bravery is what has allowed me to live and build a wonderful family of my own."

"I knew it was dangerous. I knew I could be killed at any time," Walulewicz, 82, said through a translator yesterday.

"I'm so happy to see her again. I didn't know she was still alive."

The reunion was planned by The Jewish Foundation for the Righteous.

After the war, Bushkanietz reunited with her husband, who had fled the ghetto with her and had been fighting with partisans.

The couple moved to Israel. They have two children, seven grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.

"It's difficult for me to travel to the U.S. at my age, but to see Irena was a special treat," she said.

Walulewicz, who still lives in Poland, kissed Bushkanietz's son and grandson, who were with her yesterday.

"None of us, the whole of our family, could be here without Irena's heroic acts," said Jonathan More, 26, Bushkanietz's grandson.

"It's hard to put into words."

45 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

What a WONDERFUL story. These types of stories are the ones that should be posted in this blog on a regular basis.

We soon forget the struggles that others have endured for the sake of freedom, and those who have risked their own safety on behalf of others.

Irena has been blessed with long years and, G-d willing, in His kingdom.

12:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I hope they video tapped the event and the stories they share. I'm the Irish Jew, and hate when I read or here, that some jerk thinks it didn't happen, maybe the ladies could visit Iran and talk to the jerk/ I mean President in charge.

3:12 PM  
Blogger -suitepotato- said...

Thank G-d for people like this who cared enough about the living to put aside and not care as much about their own dying. Such selfless acts are the saving grace of humanity.

Though not likely, the Polish part of me still hopes some day the entire nation will say from the bottom of their hearts, "we're sorry", and invite Jews back the way Poland once welcomed them so long before the horrors began.

Thank you for the post.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear moderator,
please post a new blog concerning what happened in Gourmet Glatt recently. Approximately two weeks ago there was mistakenly allowed by the mashgiach of the five towns the brand "bushs best" original baked beans which has in its ingrediants bacon meat, versus the vegetarian brand which is certified kosher. The outrage is that the Vaad of 5 towns has not alerted the community of this mishap, and for those who purchased this brand must kasher their dishes and utensils immediately bec. of the treif meat

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"God is dead" - Nietzsche

I have a question for you human lovers. If we know for sure that every life form that has ever been considered alive, will die: How is "Saving a life", "saving a life" if that person will die some time or another anyway.

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