15 Slovaks have become Righteous Among the Nations

More than 580 Slovaks have received the honour to date.

(Source: TASR)

For saving the lives of the Jews during World War II, Israel has awarded the state honour of the Righteous Among the Nations to 15 Slovaks this year.

"Each of the awardees showed huge courage despite a big danger," said Israeli Ambassador to Slovakia Zvi Aviner Vapni, as quoted by the TASR newswire.

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The award is important not only to commemorate people but also to protect the values of freedom, democracy, decency, humanity, and tolerance, said President Andrej Kiska, as reported by TASR.

More than 27,000 people around the world have received the honour so far, 580 of whom were Slovaks.

Who received the awards?

One of the heroes, as the ambassador called them, is Ondrej Čanecký. He saved Walter Rosenberg and Alfréd Wetzler, who both escaped from the Auschwitz concentration camp in 1944. It was these men who open the world's eyes to the Nazi murdering machine.

Other people receiving the honour are: Cecília Scheibenreifová, Rudolf Scheibenreif, Imrich Počuch, Mária Počuchová, Štefánia Pellerová, Anna Chladná, Ignác Chladný, Karolína Bullová, František Bulla, Peter Brezovský, Anna Brezovská, Ondrej Rapčan, Elena Rapčanova and Zlatica Vojtková.

The names of the Slovaks will be carved in the Wall of Honour in Jerusalem.

Read their stories:

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  • Ondrej Čanecký from Skalité took Walter Rosenberg and Alfred Wetzler, who escaped from the concentration camp at Auschwitz, to his home where they told him their story.
Read also: A hero who saved thousands of Jews Read more 
  • Imrich Počuch and his wife Mária Počuchová were looking after six people in hiding: Oskar Neuman-Horanský, his wife Mária Neumanová-Horanská, their nephew and adopted son Egon Kugler-Horanský and Dezider Brichta, Dezider's wife Melánia Brichtová and their son Arpád.
Read also: Imrich and Mária saved two Jewish families Read more 
  • Zlatica Vojtková baked bread for Jewish families hiding near Utekáč.
Read also: She baked bread to keep them full Read more 
  • Anna Chladná and her husband Ignác Chladný looked after Erika Kohnová who went ill when hiding, and she later stayed with them for about a month until the end of the war.
Read also: They treated Erika as their daughter Read more 
  • Karolína Bullová and her husband František Bulla were hiding the Grosz and the Grünberger families. The German soldiers later found and shot them, and burned Karolína alive.
Read also: Karolína gave her life to save the innocent Read more 
  • Cecília Scheibenreifová with her son Rudolf Scheibenreif helped Eva Felsenburgová. When bringing her to Nitra, Rudolf used a wheel-barrow, in which Eva was hiding.
Read also: A boy hid her in his luggage Read more 
  • Ondrej Rapčan and his wife Elena Rapčanová rescued the Lipschütz family even though they were poor.
Read also: Poor people with big hearts Read more 
  • Štefánia Pellerová rescued sisters Viera Rosenthalová and Denisa Rosenthalová who were hidden in a tiny room of the attic.
Read also: A woman who became a mother to little Jewish girls Read more 
  • Peter Brezovský and Anna Brezovská were hiding the a Jewish family in their basement.
Read also: Peter and his wife offered their basement to save a big family Read more 

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