Holo­caust sur­vivors meet their sav­ior 75 years later

The Korea Times - - PEOPLE -

JERUSALEM (AFP) — Eyes brim­ming with tears, 92-year-old Melpomeni Dina Gianopoulo­u was re­united Sun­day with Jewish sib­lings she had helped hide from Nazis in her na­tive Greece dur­ing World War II.

Holo­caust sur­vivor Sarah Yanai, 86, had tears in her eyes as she held Melpomeni’s hand.

“It is a very emo­tional feel­ing, I can’t de­scribe it,” she said.

“We were hid­den in her house. She saved all my fam­ily. Six per­sons… you can’t imag­ine how dan­ger­ous it was for her, for her fam­ily, to keep us all,” she added.

“What can I say. They saved our lives.”

The highly emo­tional meet­ing took place at the Hall of Names, in Jerusalem’s Yad Vashem Holo­caust memo­rial cen­ter, a memo­rial to mil­lions of Jews killed in the Holo­caust.

Dur­ing World War II, Melpomeni and her two sis­ters first hid the Mordechai fam­ily in a mosque be­fore mov­ing them to their own home in Ve­ria, a small town near Thes­sa­loniki, where they stayed for two years.

Sarah’s brother Yossi Mor was barely two months old at the time.

He is now 77, but still car­ries with him sto­ries he was told about their life in hid­ing.

Mor said their sit­u­a­tion was “de­te­ri­o­rat­ing” in the mosque, es­pe­cially that of his small brother Sh­muel, who had fallen ill.

But he said the Greek sis­ters made a dar­ing at­tempt to res­cue him.

“They put him on their shoul­ders and they walked to the hos­pi­tal in the mid­dle of the night. It was quite far,” Mor said.

Some days later, the Greek sis­ters went back to the hos­pi­tal to visit Sh­muel but found him cov­ered with a white sheet.


Greek World War II res­cuer Melpomeni Dina, cen­ter, re­acts as she is re­united with holo­caust sur­vivors Yossi Mor, right, and his sis­ter Sarah Yanai, whom she helped es­cape in 1943, at the Hall of Names at the Yad Vashem Holo­caust Memo­rial mu­seum in Jerusalem, Sun­day.

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