Ukrainian family from Kyiv awarded the title of Righteous Among the Nations
On January 27, International Holocaust Remembrance Day, the Stoliarchuk family was awarded the Righteous Among the Nations Award in Kyiv for their assistance to the Jewish people during World War II, as reported by the Ministry of Culture and Information Policy.
The State of Israel has posthumously conferred an honorary title on Volodymyr and Pavlyna Stoliarchuk as a sign of deep gratitude. The award was presented to the Righteous’ great-granddaughter, Alina Zinchenko.
Reportedly, Volodymyr and Pavlyna Stoliarchuk rescued Maria Milman and her son Mykhailo. Maria and her husband Ilya came to the village of Komsomolske, Vinnytsia region, as young professionals. Maria was a teacher, and Ilya was a technician in the tractor department. In 1938, their son was born.
Ilya was mobilized in 1941, and Mariia and her son found themselves under occupation. On September 9 of that year, almost all the Jews of the village were killed by the Nazis.
When Maria and her son were being driven in a convoy to the execution trenches, one of the guards heard the boy speaking to his mother in Ukrainian. He took them out of the convoy and let them go home.
Maria asked her friend Pavlyna Stoliarchuk for help. Pavlyna and her husband Volodymyr hid the mother and son in their home for two months until they made them new forged documents under the name Kovalenko.
Mariia and Mykhailo lived in the village of Pyrohivka, Khmelnytrskyi region, until the end of the Second World War. Then, they returned to Komsomolske, where they were reunited with their father after the war.
After that, the family continued to contact the Stoliarchuks. The rescuers have become almost like family to them.
In early February 2022, Israel honored seven more Ukrainian citizens as Righteous Among the Nations: they saved the lives of Jews during II World War.
In particular, the brothers Peter and Ignat Pavlovsky were awarded commemorative medals and the title of Righteous Among the Nations for saving the family of Michael Greenstein. Oleksandra Bainak, who saved the lives of Khana Shvartsman and Leonid Sitkovetsky, was also honored. Yulia Banko was honored for saving David and Benek Sonnenstein. Pavlo and Maria Natarov were honored for saving Raya Agranovych-Zadera. Maria Zhosul, who saved Bella Klevanska, is also recognized as a Righteous Among the Nations.
Overall, 2673 Ukrainians have been conferred the Righteous Among the Nations title. Ukraine ranks fourth in the world in terms of the number of Righteous among the Nations after Poland, the Netherlands, and France.
The title “Righteous Among the Nations” is given by the State of Israel to those people who saved Jews from persecution and extermination during World War II in Nazi-occupied Europe. They receive a certificate of honor and a medal, and their names are engraved in Yad Vashem, the Holocaust memorial on Mount Herzl in Jerusalem.