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Reunion 2003

A Story of Moral Courage

Jody, Poland (now Belarus)… December 1941 On December 17, 1941 the Germans and their Polish collaborators herded and massacred roughly 500 of the Jews of Jody. By the end of the month, they had captured and murdered another 100. Of the roughly 100 Jews who were still alive, some fled to ghettos in nearby towns, some wandered from place to place, and a few were hidden by Christians. The Silverman and Smuszkowicz families were among those who found shelter. The two families found shelter with the Konochowicz family, who were complete strangers. The family consisted of the parents and eight children, including 17-year-old Jadviga, the third oldest. Although the Konochowicz family was poor and barely able to care for their own family of ten, they provided food and shelter for the eight Jews. In doing so, they sacrificed their own welfare and risked their lives. The punishment for hiding a Jew in German-occupied Poland was death. In 2003 the JFR reunited Jadviga Konochowicz with Jack and Peter Silverman and their cousins Peter, Dave, and Jane Smuszkowicz. Jack Silverman and Peter Smuszkowicz had not seen Jadviga since 1945.

To read more about Jadviga Konochowicz click here.

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