Vasilina and Alexander Yamolyuk

Righteous Among the Nations

Maiden, Poland

In September 1942, the Yarmolyuks, a childless middle-aged couple, were offered a baby found with a note saying she was the offspring of an unwed Polish woman. Vasilina and Alexander baptized the child “Maria” and kept her safe for 2-1/2 years. They thwarted those sent to kill her.  When Maria became extremely ill, the Yarmolyuks discovered that her parents, Motel and Zelda, had survived and offered to let them see their child. At Zelda’s suggestion, both “mothers” ran to a nearby Soviet Army hospital.  With bombs dropping around them, Zelda threw herself on the child and Vasilina threw herself on Zelda, saying, “You’re younger.  Live and tell our daughter what we did for her.”  In 1990, Yad Vashem honored the Yarmolyuks as “Righteous Among the Nations.” ​