Yad Vashem honored a Romanian reserves officer who risked his own life to help save Romanian Jews from being sent to Nazi death camps.
Theodor Criveanu was named Wednesday by Israel’s national Holocaust memorial museum as belonging to the “Righteous among the Nations” – non-Jews who protected Jews during the Holocaust.
During World War II, 20,000 Jews from Czernowitz, Romania – today Chernivtsi, Ukraine – were to be deported to death camps. Criveanu, assigned the task of presenting authorities a list of Jews required to work in the ghetto, issued more permits than needed to save Jews from the camps, according to witnesses. By doing so, he is said to have endangered his life.
Criveanu married the daughter of one of the Jews he saved. He died in Romania in 1988. The Yad Vashem honor was accept by his son Willie.
Fifty-three Romanians are among the 21,000 non-Jews honored by Yad Vashem for trying to save Jewish lives.