WW2 Jewish Survivors Reunite With Their Greek Rescuer

  • by XpatAthens
  • Thursday, 14 November 2019
WW2 Jewish Survivors Reunite With Their Greek Rescuer
This is a story, unlike the ones we usually share. It is not a breaking news story, and it is not a recent Greek achievement; however, it is a story of courage, kindness, and selflessness–attributes for which numerous Greek people have been celebrated for!

Melpomeni Dina, a 92-year-old Greek woman, was reunited with two Jewish siblings she helped save from the Nazis during WW2 for the first time. As a teenager, Melpomeni Dina hid 6 members of the Mordechai family before assisting them to escape.

This emotional reunion took place at the Holocaust memorial museum in Jerusalem, more than 70 years later, and is likely to be the last of its kind. The surviving siblings Sarah Yanai and Yossi Mor brought their 20 children and grandchildren to the event.

"There are no words to describe this feeling," Ms. Yanai told reporters. "It is very emotional for us to be together again." "We were hidden in her house. She saved all my family. Six persons... you can't imagine how dangerous it was for her, for her family, to keep us all... They saved our lives."

During the Nazi Germany occupation of Greece between1941-1944, most of the Greek Jewish population–as many as 80,000–died as a result of Nazi persecution. It was during that time that Mrs. Dina and her two sisters hid the Mordechai family in an abandoned mosque before moving them to their own tiny home when things got too dangerous. When the family's location became compromised, the sisters assisted them in escaping toward different directions. They survived, reunited after the war, and left for Israel.

In 1994, Mrs. Dina was honored by the museum as Righteous Among the Nations– a title bestowed to those who helped save Jews during the Holocaust. Among the approximately 27,000 people who have been recognized by the museum, 355 of them are from Greece.

Even though reunions like this used to be quite common at the Yad Vashem museum, unfortunately, they have become scarce in recent years. "This is probably going to be our last reunion, because of age and frailty," said Stanlee Stahl, the executive vice president of the Jewish Foundation for the Righteous, quoted by the Associated Press.

To read this emotional story in full, please visit: BBC