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Holocaust survivor, savior reunite 64 years later

WASHINGTON (JTA) — A Holocaust survivor and the man whose family hid him from the Nazis in Poland reunited for the first time in 64 years.

Joseph Bonder, 81, and Bronislaw Firuta, 82, met Nov. 25 in New York. They will be honored Monday by the Jewish Foundation for the Righteous in New York.

From 1942 to 1944, Firuta’s family hid Bonder and his older sister in their unlocked barn, where the two teenagers lived among the animals and subsisted on whatever food the Firutas could sneak out to them.

The foundation, which honors non-Jews who risked their lives to help Jews during the Holocaust, funded Firuta’s trip from Faszczowka, Poland, to New York. Bonder has lived in the United States since 1944, when he fled Poland.

Bonder, who believes his parents were murdered at the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp, and Firuta first made contact after the war in the 1960s. In 2006, with Bonder’s help, Firuta and Firuta’s parents were designated Righteous Among the Nations by Yad Vashem, Israel’s Holocaust authority. The designation entitles the rescuers to financial aid.

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