A 92-year-old Greek woman was in tears when she reunited with a group of siblings she saved during the Holocaust — and met their 40 descendants.
Melpomeni Dina said she could now “die quietly” after Sunday’s emotional gathering in Jerusalem, where she was introduced to the younger generations of the Mordechai family, she and her sisters helped protect more than 75 years ago.
“We are now a very large and happy family and it is all thanks to them saving us,” said Sarah Yanai, now 86, who was the oldest of the five siblings.
The Mordechai family lived in Veria, Greece, where nearly the entire Jewish community was wiped out by the Nazis during World War II.
Dina, then a teenager, and her two sisters took in the family of seven around 1944, hiding them in their own single-room home on the outskirts of the city.
“They fed us, they gave us medicine, they gave us the protection, everything, they washed our clothes,” said Yossi Mor, now 77, who was an infant when his family was taken in. “[Dina] loved me very much.”
One of the children, a 6-year-old boy named Shmuel, became very sick and was taken to a hospital despite the risk of exposing his identity. He died at the hospital.
Soon after, someone ratted Dina and her sisters out. Still, they helped the family flee in different directions, providing them with clothing for the journey, though they were orphans and impoverished themselves.
Yanai headed for the woods, another sibling ran to the mountains and their mom headed out on foot with the youngest two surviving children.
After the liberation, the family reunited and moved to Israel.
Though Mor and Yanai got together with their savior in Greece years ago, this was her first time meeting the younger generations.
More than 27,000 non-Jews who helped save Jews during the Holocaust, including some 355 from Greece, have been recognized as “Righteous Among the Nations” by Israel.
The names of those honored are engraved on the Hall of Names at the Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial in Jerusalem, where the reunion took place. Only a few hundred are believed to still be alive.
With Post Wires
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