Memorial service in the Yad Vashem Hall of Remembrance
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21 December 2011
On Wednesday December 21, 2011, Yad Vashem held a ceremony posthumously honoring Wojciech Wołoszczuk, as Righteous Among the Nations from Poland. His daughter, Janina Wołoszczuk, came from Poland to accept the medal and certificate of honor on his behalf. The event took place in the presence of the Polish Ambassador to Israel H.E. Agnieszka Magdziak Miszewska, the survivor Frances Schaff of the United States, family and friends.
A memorial ceremony in the Hall of Remembrance was held at 11:00 a.m. followed by the awarding of the medal and certificate in the Synagogue at Yad Vashem. The events took place in English, Hebrew and Polish.
The Rescue Story
Between the two world wars, the Jewish population of Kosów, (then part of Poland, and today in Ukraine) constituted about half of the city's total population. The murder of the Jews began immediately after the German occupation in September 1941.
Feiga Bader, today Frances Schaff, was born in Kosów in 1936, the youngest of ten children. Her mother died when Feiga was only two years old. Shortly after the occupation, she witnessed her father being murdered. Feiga escaped to the house of her brother Chaim, and stayed with him for several weeks. In the second aktion in Kosów, Chaim's family was deported, and Feiga found herself alone and on the run again. She approached the family of her friend Genka for help, but they allowed her to stay with them for only one night, after which Feiga was asked to leave. Feiga remembered that her brother Nissan had made arrangements to hide in the house of his good friend Wojciech Wołoszczuk. Feiga managed to reach the Wołoszczuks and joined her brother, his wife, their two children and two other Jews who were all hiding in the barn attic. Every night, Wojciech would bring them food. As time went on, wartime rationing made it difficult to feed so many extra mouths, and the food supply dwindled. To alleviate their hunger, Nissan would secretly go to milk the cow or search for food in neighboring homes. After having emerged from hiding twice, Nissan was caught and shot.
Wojciech Wołoszczuk kept the Jews hidden on his farm until after liberation. When they came out of hiding, Feiga's sister-in-law and her children were murdered by a group of peasants. Now alone, Feiga was taken to an orphanage. From there she was moved to Lena Kuechler's children's home, immigrated to Eretz Israel, and later moved to the United States. In 2009, Feiga traveled to Kosów with her son. After returning home, her family decided to apply to Yad Vashem for Wojciech Wołoszczuk to be recognized as Righteous Among the Nations.
Wojciech Wołoszczuk passed away on September 14, 1963. On February 6, 2011, the Commission for the Designation of the Righteous Among the Nations decided to recognize Wojciech Wołoszczuk as Righteous Among the Nations.