Jewish Rescuers Citation Ceremony, January 27, 2021
18 Jewish Rescuers Receive Jewish Rescuers Citation
The B’nai B’rith World Center-Jerusalem and the Committee to Recognize the Heroism of Jewish Rescuers during the Holocaust presented their joint Jewish Rescuers Citation in honor of 18 heroes at a moving virtual ceremony on International Holocaust Remembrance Day (Jan. 27).
The ceremony, which took place mainly in Hebrew (see here), included presentations by relatives of all of the recipients —in one case a span of four generations.
Only two of the recipients—Professor Simon Schwarzfuchs and Professor Arnold Arthur Einhorn, who were active in the Jewish underground in France in rescuing Jews, are still alive in Jerusalem and Washington, D.C., respectively. To date 344 Jewish rescuers who risked their lives to save other Jews in Germany and Austria, and across Nazi-allied and occupied Europe and North Africa have been recognized through the citation since its inception in 2011.
The other, posthumous, recipients, were:
- Shalom Semion Zorin (1902–1974): As a Jewish Soviet partisan commander in Minsk, Zorin established a partisan unit that gave refuge to Jewish families fleeing the ghettos. Some 500 Jews survived the war thanks to Zorin.
- Feretz (1927-2013) and Zalman (Zenek) (1929-1996) Hochman were bothers who were 10 and 12 when their native Warsaw was invaded by the Germans in 1939. They escaped the Warsaw Ghetto in 1943 to the Aryan side where they survived the war as members of a band of Jewish children who posed as non-Jews, interacting with the Nazi occupiers and peddling cigarettes in Three Crosses Square near Gestapo headquarters. In the course of their ordeal and despite their young age, they endangered their lives to help two other Jews survive.
- David (Dadu) Rosenkranz (1905-1965) was a lawyer and leader in the war-time Jewish community in Romania. Along with Fred Saraga and Itschak Artzi (who were recognized in the past with the Jewish Rescuers Citation), Rosenkranz led three dangerous missions in 1943 and 1944 to Transnistria, an area of German-occupied Ukraine given by Hitler to his ally, Romanian General Ion Antonescu, where hundreds of thousands of local and deported Jews lived in appalling conditions. Rosenkranz brought physical aid and succeeded in repatriating some 3,000 Jews to Romania, including nearly 500 orphans.
- Rachel Ida Lifchitz (1917-2003) was a social worker in Paris who worked until World War II in the Rothschild family’s philanthropic enterprises for Jewish children. During the German occupation of France, Lifchitz worked for the Nazi-appointed central Jewish organization U.G.I.F. while clandestinely rescuing Jewish children and hiding them with non-Jewish families in association with the Women’s International Zionist Organization (WIZO).
- Beate Berger (1886-1940) was founder of a boarding school for orphans and abandoned children in Germany. Berger recognized the danger posed by the Nazi regime and brought all 300 children at the boarding school to pre-state Israel.
- Rabbi Isaac Moshe Casuto (1896-1996) was the chief rabbi in Larissa, Greece. He refused to compile a list of members of the community for the Germans and warned his community to escape the city. Some 950 Jews escaped while 255 remained and were arrested.
- David Liwer (1903-1968) was leader of a resistance group in Bedzin, Poland. He hid Jews in his home and helped many escape from the ghetto. He also distributed passports from Latin American countries to members of the Zionist movement that aided in their rescue. He fled with his family to Budapest, where he became active in the Zionist movement.
- Yosef Giveon (1923-1968) smuggled food and medications to Jews from a hospital storeroom where he worked and led Jews incarcerated in the hospital to safety.
- Sabin Roitman Einhorn (1924-2020) was a member of the Jewish Resistance in France who aided families in hiding and provided them with falsified documents.
- Leon Roitman (1925-1993) was a member of the “Jewish Army” in France. Only 16 years old, he rescued children detained in the camps and transported Jews to the south of France. Recruited by rescuer Dr. Eitan Guinat, he worked in the lab to falsify documents and recruited others to work there.
- Jacques Roitman (1922-1988) was a member of the Jewish Resistance and Jewish Army in France. He clandestinely conveyed Jews across the border to Spain.
- Erna Einhorn (1929-2007) was the sister of Shulamit and Arthur Einhorn, and was a member of the Jewish Resistance in France. Einhorn falsified and issued documents and provided food to families in hiding.
- Dr. Jirmejahu Oscar Neumann (1894-1981) was leader of the Zionist Movement in Slovakia. He founded the “Working Group” that disseminated information about the massacre of Jews in death camps; established three work camps where 4,000 Jews were employed, saving them from deportation to death camps; bribed German officers and clerks to prevent deportations; and aided the escape of 12,000 Jews to Hungary.
- Alexey (Eliahu) Bunimovich (1921-1983) initiated and executed the escape of 82 Jewish inmates at a work camp in Poland.
- Emilka Kosover Rozencaig (1922-2008) facilitated the escape of Jews from the Warsaw ghetto and found them hiding places on the Aryan side.
The Jewish Rescuers Citation was established to help correct the generally held misconception that Jews failed to come to the aid of fellow Jews during the Holocaust. Until the Jewish Rescuer Citation, there had been virtually no attention paid to the phenomena of Jewish rescue. Even with 344 honorees, we still are working to bring more attention to these heroes. Many who could have tried to flee preferred to stay and rescue others; some paid for it with their lives. With great heroism, Jews in every country in occupied Europe employed subterfuge, forgery, smuggling, concealment and other methods to ensure that Jews survived the Holocaust, or assisted them in escaping to a safe haven, and in doing so foiled the Nazi goal of total genocide against the Jews.