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Elena Zavadskaia on Order #00447

Language: English

Elena Zavadskaiia was born in 1925 in Mogilev-Podol’skii, then USSR (today Mohyliv-Podil’skii, Ukraine). Her parents, Evgenii and Konstantsiia Zavadskiii, were ethnic Poles, and because of their nationality in 1937 they became potential targets of order #00447. On November 1, 1937, her father was arrested. Soon after, her mother, Konstantsiia, was told that Evgenii had been sentenced to “ten years of corrective labor camps without the right of correspondence”—a Soviet euphemism for a sentence of execution by shooting. In July 1941, the Germans occupied Mogilev-Podol’skii, and Elena’s mother and grandmother, Anna Dembitskaia, offered their help to the family of Elena’s friend Sara Perel’man and their neighbors, the Lerner family. They hid them in their house while the Nazis stayed in the city. Later, when thousands of Jewish deportees from Bessarabia, Bukovina, and Romania came to Mogilev-Podol’skii, Elena’s family gave shelter to a Jewish family. After the war, Elena graduated from medical school and worked as a doctor. In 1996, Yad Vashem recognized Elena and her mother as Righteous Among the nations.