German officer recognized by Yad Vashem


JERUSALEM (JTA) — Yad Vashem cited the German officer made famous in the Academy Award-winning movie "The Pianist."

Wilm Hosenfeld was recognized as a Righteous Among the Nations, Israel’s Holocaust Martyrs’ and Heroes’ Remembrance Authority announced Monday, for helping Jews during the Holocaust.

Polish-Jewish musician Wladyslaw Szpilman, whose diaries are the basis for Roman Polanski’s 2002 film, wrote to Yad Vashem that Hosenfeld in November 1944  helped him find a hiding place, and provided blankets, food and moral support. Another survivor, Leon Wurm, testified that Hosenfeld employed him at the Sports Center after his escape from the train to Treblinka.

Hosenfield spent most of the war as a sports and culture officer based in Warsaw. During the Warsaw Ghetto uprising, he was involved in interrogating prisoners. Hosenfeld was arrested and sentenced to life imprisonment by the Soviets. He died in a Soviet prison in 1952.

Hosenfeld’s sons and two daughters, who live in Germany, will receive a medal and certificate on their late father’s behalf. An official ceremony will be scheduled.

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