From Celina Levin's address at the ceremony when her rescuers were awarded the title of Righteous Among the Nations
I'm very moved by the privilege to host the families with whom I spent the early years of my life until the end of the war. It is an obscure period that has cast a shadow on my entire life. And in the first years after the war, despite all her efforts, my mother was unable to contact them because of the regime. And here is my brother, Eli Levin, who finally managed to do it. In the year 2000 he was able to reconnect to the Korsak family.
It is with great emotion that I have to say that I hardly remember anything of that period, with the exception of the visits of my mother and brother who came from the forests and the partisans with whom they stayed during the war. I remember an impressive woman in a long black coat and with boots, her hair tied back. She was called Cioca Marussa to prevent her true identity from being uncovered. Who knows how long they had to walk in order to see me alive.
Years later, we were already on our way to Israel, I remember a small photo, the size of a thumb, that mother had kept from the time I was a baby. Maybe in order to keep a memory of me or in order to be able to reclaim me.
I also remember a house in the village with ducks the very same size as my own. And they would follow me around and grab my bread because they also wanted it…. And there was a church where the Korsaks would go to pray and they would put the bread of communion in my mouth that was surely supposed to be a blessing. All this is from a different world. A dark and harsh world in which my dear father, Mula Perewoski, was murdered for no crime of his own, and my mother and brother had to bury him in the dark of the night somewhere in the terrible forests of Belarus. His burial place is unknown until this very day. May his soul rest in peace.
My mother Dora nee Worobcik, was married again to Yitzhak Levin who was a colleague and very active in the emigration of Jews from Poland, especially children, and in 1948 we emigrated to Israel.
We reached the shores of Haifa and saw the breathtaking sight of the land of Israel – the blue skies, the white houses, the mountains, flowers. There were numerous anemones, cyclamen and daffodils, and plenty of sea shells on the shores. Young people were pushing strollers, and they were all Jews. It was such happiness to know that there was a future, hope and a different life…..
The chaos of my childhood was suppressed and contained like a genie in a bottle. It is hard for me until this very day to deal with what we had gone through. The images of the muselmen, the corpses, and the good people that were slaughtered only because of their being Jewish haunt me every year when we mark Holocaust remembrance day in memory of the millions that were massacred over there.
I am grateful to Yad Vashem for having gathered all these pure souls to a big historic memorial for that Dark Age in human history. My deep gratitude goes to the Korsak and Michalowski families who honor us with their visit and for the renewed connection to them that is certainly likely to bring back forgotten memories from their home in Poland.