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Holocaust survivors reunite with Greek savior in fading ritual

Forty Israeli siblings who survived the Holocaust met a 92-year-old Greek woman who helped save their lives decades ago.

The gathering was held on Sunday at the Yad Vashem Holocaust in Jerusalem, Israel on Sunday, a regular ritual that fades due to the advanced ages of rescuers and survivors.

There was no dry eye in the reunion, as siblings Sarah Yanai and Yossi More, whose last name was Mordecai, embraced Melpomeni Dina, the woman who saved her life during the Holocaust in Greece, The Jerusalem Post reported ,

"There are no words to describe this feeling," Yanai, 86, now said. "It's very emotional for us to be together again."

  Melpomeni Dina holding the hand of an Israeli girl during a gathering at the Yad Vashem Holocaust in Jerusalem on Sunday.

Dina Melpomeny holding an Israeli girl's hand during a reunion at the Yad Vashem Holocaust in Jerusalem on Sunday.
(AP Photo / Patty Nieberg)

GAL GADOT TO AGE AS A CHRISTIAN WOMAN WHO SAVES 2500 JEWISH CHILDREN IN A HOLOCAST FILM 75 years ago, Dina said she could "die quietly" now.

The emotional gathering on Sunday is the first message when Dina met the offspring of a family who helped save her.

The Mordecai family lives in Veria, Greece, a small town near Thessaloniki, where almost the entire Jewish community was destroyed within months of one of the most brutal executions of the Nazis.

In early 1943, when the Nazis began gathering Jewish people for deportation and their Jewish family friends hid them in the ceiling of an old abandoned Turkish mosque. They said they had been there for almost a year but had to leave because their health was deteriorating in the unventilated attic.

  Once a regular ritual, such events were fewer and farther between, due to the advanced ages of rescuers and survivors.

Once a regular ritual, such events were smaller and farther between the advanced ages of rescuers and survivors.
(AP Photo / Patty Nieberg)

It was then that Dina and her two older sisters took the family of seven to their own one-room home on the outskirts of the city, sharing with them their limited food rations for almost two years.

"The risk they took on themselves to take on the whole family, knowing that it put them and everyone around them at risk," Yanai said. "Look at all this around us. We are a very big and happy family now and all this is thanks to our being saved.

While living with Dina and her sisters, one of Mordecai's children, a six-year-old boy, became very ill and, even at the risk of revealing his identity, had to be taken to a hospital where he died. Shortly thereafter, Dina and her orphaned and impoverished sisters announce that they are helping the family escape and even give them clothes before they leave.

Yanai, the eldest, headed for the forest, another went to the mountain, and the mother went on foot with her youngest two surviving children in search of another place to hide, relatives told. The family came together again after liberation and went to Israel, where the children built their own families.

"They fed us, gave us medicines, gave us protection, everything, washed our clothes," Yossi More, now 77, who was just a diaper when his family was adopted, said during Sunday's gathering.

Dina told reporters Sunday that what she and her sisters did was "the right thing to do," the Mail reported.

Mor and Yanai, who reportedly said they were "very emotional and excited" for the reunion, had met Dina in Greece years ago, but the younger generation of their extended family had never met her before the ceremony. on Sunday.

  Melpomeni Dina, center right, poses for a group photo during the reunion in front of the Yad Vashem Holocaust in Jerusalem.

Dina Melpomeny, center right, poses for a group photo during the gathering of the Yad Vashem Holocaust in Jerusalem.
(AP Photo / Patty Nieberg)

"I've heard so much about it growing up and it's really special to finally put a face to the name," said Mohr's grandson, Imri Dor.


About 6 million Jews were killed by the Nazis and their associates during World War 2. Over 27,000, including over 350 from Greece, were recognized as "Righteous among the Nations," Israel's highest honor for non-Jews who risked their lives to save the Jews during the Holocaust.

engraved on an alley with trees on the Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial It is estimated that only a few hundred are alive now. The Foundation for the Righteous, which sponsors the event, I said.

Stal added that her organization has been hosting similar events every year since 1992.

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"Either the survivor has passed, the righteous has passed, or in some cases, or the survivor or the righteous Gentile cannot travel, "she said and choked.

Similar events of long lost brothers and sisters or other relatives sponsored by Yad Vashem are also said to be over.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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