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Righteous Among Nations awarded to another Czech in memoriam

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Prague, Feb 22 (CTK) – The title Righteous Among the Nations in memoriam for help for Jewish Holocaust victims will be given to Protestant priest Vaclav Cermak, whereby he will become the 117th Czech or Czechoslovak to receive it from Israel, Mahulena Cervena, from the Israeli embassy, told journalists on Thursday.

Along with two Slovaks, Cermak will be awarded for what they did during the Slovak National Uprising in 1944.

The Israeli Holocaust Victims memorial Yad Vashem already awarded the title Righteous Among the Nations to Ludovit Repas, Jan Balciar and Vaclav Cermak on April 12, 2016.

On February 27, Israeli ambassador Daniel Meron will pass the decoration to Cermak’s daughter Marie Cermakova, Cervena said.

Due to the persecution of Jews, two Jewish families, the Weisenbergers and Schonfelds, were forced to leave their homes in Presov, east Slovakia.

Repas, an employee of the Presov town hall, provided false documents for them and sent them to Cermak, a Baptist preacher in Klenovec, east Slovakia.

Cermak then helped both families – the Weisenbergers, now using the name Vasenko -, to find a cover in Grlica and the Schonfelds, now using the name Vana, near his own home.

Later on, all of them, including Balciar’s pregnant wife and several children, set out in search of a shelter in a mountain chalet.

They were later joined by a Jewish woman, who was forced out by those who had sheltered her because the local German authorities said that whoever caught when helping Jews would be shot dead along with their whole families.

However, Cermak and Balciar were not afraid and provided shelter for them. All the six hidden Jews and their rescuers lived to see the end of the war.

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