Yad Vashem displays life-saving tree

A tree trunk that hid a young Jewish man during the Holocaust was put on display at Yad Vashem.

Jakob Silberstein, 83, was born in Poland but fled to Czechoslovakia after World War II broke out, finding refuge with a local woman. Many of his relatives perished in the Holocaust.

To escape an especially intensive search by the Gestapo, the small-boned Silberstein spent long hours hiding in the hollowed-out trunk of a birch tree.

The trunk, which Silberstein obtained in 2005 after it was cut down for lumber, was unveiled Monday in a forest near Yad Vashem.

“It saved my life,” he said at the ceremony.

Silberstein now lives in Israel. Jana Sudova, the woman who sheltered him in Czechoslovakia, died in 1993 and was recognized last year by Yad Vashem as a Righteous Among the Nations.

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