Jewish Family Saved From Nazis Meet Their Greek, WWII Hero


The 92 year-old Greek woman met the Jewish family she saved from the Nazis in WWII over 75 years ago.

Melpomeni Dina was a teenager when she helped shelter 6 members of the Mordechai family during the German occupation of Greece, before she helped them escape.

The reunion happened in Israel’s official memorial to the victims of the Holocaust, in Jerusalem at the Hall of Names in Yad Vashem.

The Holocaust survivor, Sarah Yanai, nee Mordechai, now 86, opened her arms to hug Melpomeni Dina, the woman who rescued her and her family from the ruthless Nazis.

Yanai asked, “How are you, how are you Melpo?” in Greek. She and her brother Yossi Mor, brought their 20 children and grandchildren to the reunion.

The Jewish Foundation for the Righteous also helped in setting up the meeting. This foundation helps those who risked so much to help Jews.

Yanai told reporters how the family was hidden in Melpo’s house, and how she saved the entire family of 6 people. She said, “you can’t imagine how dangerous it was for her, for her family, to keep us all… They saved our lives.”

About 80,000 of the Greek Jews died because of the Nazis, with many of them murdered at Auschwitz.

Read also: 3 Little-Known Facts About Montreal’s Île Sainte-Hélène

Originally, the Greek sisters hid the Mordechais in a mosque that was abandoned. When it became too dangerous, they moved the family into their own tiny house.

Then, one of the kids, Shmuel, got sick and so one of the sisters to him to the hospital, even though it was extremely risky for her. Unfortunately, he died within a few days.

Later, the sisters helped the Mordechais escape, once their location had become compromised. They sent them in different directions, for safety reasons.

Thankfully, they all survived, and after the war, they reunited and went to Israel.

Three hundred and fifty-five Greeks of the 27,000 have been honored by the museum for saving Jews during the Holocaust.