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Tomorrow: Righteous Among the Nations from Poland to be Honored

Polish educators attending Yad Vashem seminar to participate in ceremony

10 November 2008

Stanislawa Slawinska, Righteous Among the Nations from Poland, will be posthumously honored at Yad Vashem on Tuesday November 11, 2008 for rescuing Jews during the Holocaust. A memorial ceremony will be held in the Hall of Remembrance at 11:00, followed by the recognition ceremony in the Garden of the Righteous at 11:20.

The ceremony will take place in Hebrew and Polish, in the presence of Roman Slawinski, nephew of the Righteous from Poland; the survivor Esfira Rapaport Maiman and her children Yossi Maiman and Michelle Maiman Yankielewicz of Israel, Polish Ambassador to Israel Agnieszka Magdziak-Miszewska, Honorable Supreme Court Justice Jacob Turkel, Chairman of the Commission for the Designation of the Righteous Among the Nations and representatives of the Raoul Wallenberg Foundation in Israel.

22 teachers and commemoration sites staff from across Poland who, for the fifteenth consecutive year, have come to participate in an educational seminar at the International School for Holocaust studies, will attend the event. One of the educators will speak as well.

The events are open to the press in coordination with the Media Relations Department: 02 6443410.

The Rescue Story

During the Holocaust, Stanislawa Slawinskas home in Grodzisk Mazowiecki became a haven for persecuted Jews, where she hid seven individuals and saw to all their needs. Among those she rescued were five members of the Rapaport and Dab family, Henryk Krupnik, Dr. Leon Plocker, and a young girl whose identity is unknown.

Esfira Rapaport Maiman was born in 1914 in Lodz, Poland, to a well-established family. Her father Leon was an industrialist and her brother Michel (Moshe) was an attorney. Esfira, married to Roman Dab, was trained as a dental technician. In 1939 Poland was invaded, and the Rapaport family fled Lodz. Esfira, her husband Roman, and her parents escaped to Warsaw where they crowded in a single apartment with four other families. When the ghetto was built, the family, along with the rest of the Jewish residents of Warsaw, was forced to move into the crowded space allotted to the Jews.

In the summer of 1942, the deportations from the Warsaw Ghetto to the Treblinka extermination camp began. Roman realized that the family needed to escape to the Aryan side of Warsaw. A woman who arranged hiding places for Jews brought Esfira to the city of Grodzisk, to Slawinskas home where she went into hiding. Esfiras mother Fani, Romans brother Jozef Dab and his wife, were brought to Slawinskas home, bringing the number hiding in her home to seven. Roman never arrived at the hiding place.

There was intense danger, and at times the group hid in the basement of the home, which was used to store old meat so that the rancid smell would repel the German watch dogs. Slawinska hid the group in her home until the end of the war in 1945.

Despite the ever-present danger, Slawinska attended to the Jews hiding in her home with empathy and care. Deep ties developed between Slawinska and those she hid, and Esfira refers to Stanlisawa as her sister.

After the war, Esfira returned to Lodz where she remarried to Holocaust survivor Israel Maiman, who had lost his family during the Shoah. Like many other survivors, immediately after the war they lived in a DP camp in Germany, where Esfira gave birth to their first son Yossi. The family then emigrated to France, and later on to Panama, Peru, and then the United States. In 1972 they made aliyah to Israel.

To date, over 22,200 individuals have been recognized as Righteous Among the Nations, including some 6,060 from Poland. For more information about the Righteous Among the Nations program: http://www1.yadvashem.org/yv/en/righteous/index.asp

Contact: Estee Yaari / Foreign Media Liaison / Yad Vashem