Another “Righteous Among the Nations of the World”.
During the occupation, for a few weeks Kazimiera Jasik and her three daughters hid ten-year-old Larissa Sztorchan in their apartment at Muranowski Square in Warsaw. After more than 70 years, the Survivor met the Righteous.
The Jewish Historical Institute hosted the ceremony of awarding the medal and honorary diploma of the Righteous Among the Nations awarded by the Yad Vashem institute. Righteous Janina Garbień and Survivor Larissa Sztorchan (now Larissa Cain) with their families, Israeli Ambassador Anna Azari and representatives of the Jewish Community in Warsaw, the POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews, the Warsaw Ghetto Museum, the Polish Society of the Righteous Among the Nations and also social and cultural organizations took part in that ceremony.
Larissa’s mother died in September 1942, during the great deportation to Treblinka of nearly 300,000 persons resettled to the Warsaw ghetto. Father and daughter had to hide. Thanks to the help of the girl’s mother’s brother, a pre-war activist of the Communist Party, Marian Tenenbaum, Larissa was able to move out of the ghetto. She climbed over the wall in December 1942. At the beginning she was hiding at Polish couples’ and then in other families’ homes. Marian Tenenbaum found the place for the girl for a few weeks in the apartment of the mother of his party colleague Mieczysław Jasik. Kazimiera Jasik and her three daughters – Maria, Janina and Helena – took care of the girl from the heart. Larissa did not leave the house, she was presented to the guests as a sick cousin from Siedlce. A friend of the family, the priest Marceli Godlewski made a birth certificate for her in the name of Marysia Kozłowska.
„I made good friendship with the youngest of the girls – Helena. She treated me like a younger sister. I remember Helena playing with me and sewing clothes. I hid in various places but in no other place did I have such a feeling as in the family of Jasik,” – Larissa Cain recalled during the ceremony in JHI (Jewish History Institute).„It is extraordinary that the Righteous are usually very modest and describe their actions as something normal” – said the Israeli ambassador to Poland, Anna Azari and stressed that it was not something normal. „It was heroism. Because it is unique to save someone risking one’s own and the life of the loved ones and do it sometimes for someone they did not even know about before „- added Azari.The Righteous Among the Nations title has been awarded since 1963 by the Yad Vashem Institute in Jerusalem. It is received by people who saved Jews during World War II. The hiding of them only in Poland occupied by the Germans was punishable by death. To this day, this title – and thus the medal, diploma and name carved on the wall in Yad Vashem – were received by 26.9 thousand. people from different countries. Among them there are 6.8 thousand Poles.