By Ivan Pereira
A Jewish great grandmother who survived the Holocaust, thanks to the help of a Polish Catholic who risked his own life to save girls like her, was reunited with him at Kennedy Airport Tuesday evening for the first time since World War II.
Sara Marmurek, 88, of Toronto, held back tears as she embraced Dr. Wladyslaw Misiuna, who was able to get Marmurek and other Jews out of the Szkolna slave labor camp to work on a rabbit farm in Poland. Marmurek was joined by her children and the son of another Holocaust survivor. She said she was thrilled to see her rescuer, who was only 17 at the time, because without him she would not have been able to move to Canada and raise a large family.
“This is a great Thanksgiving for me because I never believed I’d see Mr. Misiuna,” she said.
Misiuna, also in his 80s, was grateful that he was able to see Marmurek, whom he calls Susha, after 66 years. The reunion was arranged by the Jewish Foundation for the Righteous, a non-profit that honors non-Jews for helping out Holocaust survivors.
Misiuna, who walks with a cane and still suffers from the months of torture under the Nazis for his role in saving Jews, said he helped the concentration camp members because he could not bear to see them suffer and be degraded by the Nazis.
“I acted as a human who was able to help,” he said through a translator.
The rescuer and the great grandmother plan to spend a special Thanksgiving meal at the Long Island home of Akiva Mitzmacher, the son of Rachel Micmacher, a friend of Marmurek who was also saved by Misiuna.
Micmacher died of natural causes in 1997, according to her son.
See full story in next week’s issue of the TimesLedger Newspapers.
Reach reporter Ivan Pereira by e-mail at [email protected] or by phone at 718-260-4546.