Parting Once Again
Anna Krezo and her daughter Nadezhda Soloviova
In March 1943, Leah Liza Ruderman sensed that her days were numbered, and that she would soon be murdered with the last remaining Jews of Minsk. Her husband, Grisha (Grigoriy) was serving in the Red Army, and she decided to part from her son, Lev Leonid, in order to save him. Liza brought two-year-old Leonid to the Krezo family. In the hope that his father would find Leonid after the war, she wrote Grisha a letter, which she deposited the Krezos.
Anna Krezo and her daughter Nadezhda never saw Liza again. After the Soviet army liberated the city in the summer of 1944, Krezo began looking for Leonid’s father, but discovered that he had fallen in battle earlier that year. Anna and Nadezhda had grown attached to the child, and decided to keep him. In 1945, they were appointed his legal guardians, yet still preserved his family name and Jewish nationality on his Soviet ID card. Leonid Ruderman lived with his rescuers until he married in 1963, and maintained warm relations with them thereafter.
Letter from Leah Liza Ruderman to her husband
My dear Grisha,
I am writing this letter as I am parting from the only joy I have experienced in my life – our son. I decided to do this because I want to save his life. My life has reached its end, and I am awaiting imminent death. But I am not afraid, because I'm going to die knowing that you will return and find our son, and that the two of you will remember me. I am leaving Lev with the Krezo family – they gave me their word that they would raise him as if he were their own. I ask you to thank them and to raise him well.
Letter to Nadezhda Soloviova
My husband's name is Grigoriy Chonowitz Ruderman, born in 1913. He last worked in Vielka as manager of the regional transportation department. During the war, he was appointed political officer in the Air Force.
We lived in Minsk, at 25 International Street, apartment 4.
My full name is Leah Samuilovna Meirson.
After the war, please find my husband and give him the letter and photos.
On March 29, 2000, Yad Vashem recognized Anna Krezo and her daughter Nadezhda Soloviova as Righteous Among the Nations.