A list of the last living Righteous Among The Nations living in Ukraine was passed to the Foreign Ministry on Thursday morning by the “From The Depths Foundation” located in Poland. Jonny Daniels, a UK and Israeli citizen, sent the list to Israel’s embassy in Warsaw.
Of the 2,673 Ukrainian Righteous Among The Nations honored by Yad Vashem for their role in saving the lives of Jews during the Holocaust, only 17 are still living, all in their late 80s and 90s, spread across Ukraine.
“We knew we had to act fast and decisively to ensure that we have every possible chance to be of assistance to these heroes, just as they were to us,” said Jonny Daniels, founder and executive director of From The Depths.
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In addition to being given the title, the Righteous are also given Honorary Citizenship in the State of Israel, which entitles them to make aliyah.
“Making a list of the Righteous is a strange feeling,” said Daniels. These heroes who risked their lives to save our brothers and sisters 80 years ago now need our help. I’m literally compiling a list of Schindlers. Regardless of whether they leave or decide to stay and be with their families, we have started a campaign to enable us to continue helping them, working with local partners to ensure they have all the need to stay home and stay safe, providing them with food packages and health supplies, just as we’ve done during all of COVID. I aim, if possible, to go to Kyiv within the next few days to help those who helped us.
“Just speak with ‘Righteous’ from outside of Kyiv. They are very scared. Russians destroy the airport, and they heard explosions. We can’t get in touch with other ‘Righteous’ in Odessa this morning as mobile services are down in that region.”
Nina Bogorad is 97 years old, the oldest living Ukrainian Righteous of the Nations. In 1942, at the age of 17, she brought home a young wounded Ukrainian soldier who had fled the Germans twice.
His situation worsened and she wanted to take him to the underground doctors but he refused, explaining to her that in addition to being in the underground, he was also a Jew, and could be given up by anyone.
Understanding the incredible risks involved in harboring a Jew, she did so regardless.
During the time of hiding and convalescence, they fell in love and married after the war.
She was recognized as one of the Righteous Among The Nations by Yad Vashem in 1992. Today Bogorad lives in Kyiv and has family in Ukraine, Israel and the United States.