Sunday, October 24th | 18 Heshvan 5782

November 29, 2013 3:57 pm

Holocaust Survivor and His Rescuer Reunited After 69 Years by Jewish Foundation

avatar by

The Nov. 27 reunion at JFK International Airport between righteous gentile Czeslaw Polziec (left) and Holocaust survivor he rescued, Dr. Leon Gersten. Photo: Jewish Foundation for the Righteous. The Jewish Foundation for the Righteous (JFR) on Nov. 27 brought together Holocaust survivor Dr. Leon Gersten with his Holocaust rescuer from Poland, righteous gentile Czeslaw Polziec, for the first time in 69 years to mark an annual tradition for JFR.

For more than two years, the Czeslaw family hid Gersten from the Nazis, along with his mother Frieda and the Wiesenfelds, Frieda’s sister and brother-in-law’s family.

JFR has been arranging such reunions for 20 years, usually on the day before Thanksgiving. JFR Executive Vice President Stanlee Stahl told that while “each year is different, each story is unique,” this year’s reunion at New York’s JFK International Airport carried extra significance due to the historic overlap of Thanksgiving and the first day of Hanukkah.

Related coverage

October 2, 2021 11:19 am

Pandemic Deaths Eclipse 700,000 in US

i24 News – The death toll from Covid-19 in the United States surpassed 700,000 on Friday, according to figures from...

“Hanukkah is the festival of light, and in many ways [Czeslaw Polziec’s] Polish Catholic family brought light into the lives of the Gersten and Wiesenfeld families,” Stahl said.

Gersten currently lives in Cedarhurst, NY, and Czeslaw Polziec lives in Mielec, Poland. The Polziec family agreed to hide Gersten and his relatives in their attic during the Holocaust despite having five children of their own. Stanislaw Polziec, Czeslaw’s father, was beaten when the family was suspected of hiding Jews, but did not send away Gersten and his family.

Share this Story: Share On Facebook Share On Twitter

Let your voice be heard!

Join the Algemeiner

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.