67 years had passed since they last saw each other, Wladyslawa Dudziak was flown to New York last week from Poland to meet with Rozia Beiman whom she had saved from the Nazis more than a half-century before.
Dudziak lived in Lublin during World War II and asked her family to look after Beiman when Beiman’s parents went missing … the family hid Beiman in its home and pretended she was a niece until the city was liberated in 1944.
“I still feel like she’s my sister, even though I haven’t seen her in so long,” said Beiman. “I think about her all the time. I trusted their family wholeheartedly during the war. I knew they wouldn’t give me up because they loved my parents.”
…The reunion was arranged by the Jewish Foundation for the Righteous, a New York organization that provides financial support to hundreds of non-Jews who saved Jewish lives during the Holocaust.
…Beiman said that even though she was only 6 when she was hidden, she understood the dangers faced by the Dudziak family in keeping her alive. After she moved to Israel, she kept in contact with the family…
The easiest way to remember the Dudziak family during their time apart was to go to church, Beiman said, since the family taught her Catholic prayers and regularly attended services.
“My mother reminded me to never forget that I was Jewish, and it was difficult to live with that since I was pretending to be Catholic,” Beiman said. “I struggled with understanding God, and still do, but church was a comforting place for me at the time, and still is.”
Along with her husband and a son, Beiman will spend 10 days in the United States with Dudziak and her daughter before they again go their separate ways.
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Posted on Shalom Adventure by: Jeffrey Alan