Yad Vashem honors a righteous tree

jakobsilverstein.jpg
Jakob Silberstein (above) lost his parents and three brothers to the murderers at Auschwitz; he alone survived from his family. Today in Israel Yad Vashem honored the tree that sheltered Silberstein when he escaped from a death march after two years in Auschwitz:

Thousands of trees line Yad Vashem’s Garden of the Righteous Among the Nations, honoring the people who saved Jews during World War II. On Monday, Israel’s official Holocaust memorial honored its first “righteous tree,” a hollow 33-foot high birch that hid Jakob Silberstein as he escaped Auschwitz.

A Czech woman named Jana Sudova — honored by Yad Vashem in 2006 — hid Silberstein after his escape; the tree was in her back yard. Sudova died in 1993, but her family left the tree untouched:

“That tree was always special for us as children,” [Sudova’s daughter Anna] Gerlova said Monday. “We knew the story behind it, and we never went inside it.”

The Russian Army liberated the area where Silberstein hid from the Germans, and the Russian Army needed the assistance of the American Army to divide the Germans’ attention, but Silberstein would not have survived until liberation without both Sudova and the tree. The moving AP story by Aaron Heller is “Yad Vashem honors Czech ‘righteous tree.'”
Via Andrew Breitbart.
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