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The Righteous Among The Nations

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International Events Honoring Righteous

Honoring Yevgenia Zamoroko-Lysenko as Righteous Among the Nations

Nikolay Zamoroko, son of Yevgenia Zamoroko-Lysenko, receiving the Righteous Among the Nations certificate and medal on his late mother’s behalf from Israel’s Ambassador to the United States, H.E. Mr. Sallai Meridor, in a ceremony held at the USHMMNikolay Zamoroko, son of Yevgenia Zamoroko-Lysenko, receiving the Righteous Among the Nations certificate and medal on his late mother’s behalf from Israel’s Ambassador to the United States, H.E. Mr. Sallai Meridor, in a ceremony held at the USHMM
Yevgenia Zamoroko-Lysenko in 1955Yevgenia Zamoroko-Lysenko in 1955

On September 6, 2007 the title of Righteous Among the Nations was bestowed on the late Yevgenia Zamoroko-Lysenko from Ukraine. H.E. Sallai Meridor, Ambassador of Israel to the United States, presented the medal and certificate of honor to her son Nikolay Zamoroko, who lives in Maryland.

The Event
The ceremony was held at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. Present at the ceremony were Ambassador Sallai Meridor, Senator Ben Cardin, Fred S. Zeidman, USHMM Chairman, Sara J. Bloomfield, USHMM director, and Irena Steinfeldt, Director of the Department of the Righteous Among the Nations of Yad Vashem. Nikolay Zamoroko accepted the award for his mother and said: “It was no surprise for me that my mom, as I knew her, would do this — without any doubt. She was an inspiration.”

Masha Gurevich-Spivak didn’t live to see the ceremony honoring Yevgenia Zamoroko-Lysenko; she died a few months after she wrote to Yad Vashem about her  “deep wish to do something for my teacher”. Despite many efforts, Yad Vashem was unable to trace relatives of the other rescuer, Klavdia Elarionovna Sopova, and her certificate of honor was placed in the archive for safekeeping.

The Story
Yevgenia Zamoroko-Lysenko was a physics teacher who lived in Kherson, Ukraine. After the German occupation, Yevgenia and her roommate, Klavdia Sopova, went to work for the police offices where the population registries were held. There they met Masha Spivak, a former student, whose parents and two brothers had been murdered soon after the Germans occupied Kherson.  The two women helped Masha obtain false identity papers. They falsified the registry so that it said that Masha was actually non-Jewish and had been adopted by Jewish parents. They also allowed her to live in their apartment. “At a time when I couldn’t walk in the street because they would shout  ‘here’s another jidovska’”, Masha Gurevich-Spivak wrote to Yad Vashem, “I would come to them at night, and they would feed me, wash me and shelter me”.  In April 1942, the hospital at which Masha worked was relocated. Now jobless, Masha was afraid to venture around town looking for another job for fear of being recognized as a Jew. Yevgenia and Klavdia persuaded her to present herself for forced labor in Germany. Masha worked in Germany until liberation in 1945. She moved to Israel in 1948, but contact with Yevgenia was renewed only in the year 2000, when Yevgenia was already very sick. By the time Yad Vashem’s letter arrived in Kherson, asking Yevgenia for her account of the rescue, she had passed away. Her son, who had meanwhile moved to the United States, found Yad Vashem’s letter among his late mother’s possessions.