surviving Jews attempted to escape from the German-established Buczacz
ghetto in what was then Poland.
After the sixth and final aktion (violence attacks to "cleanse" an area of Jews), seven members of the Heled-Halpern
family - Rachel Heled, her parents and aunt, her cousin Mordechai
Halpern and his parents - escaped to the surrounding fields. Stefan
Chaikovski, a Ukrainian farmer, happened upon the group while they were
hiding, and brought them to a barn near his home, where he and his wife
Anna hid the seven Jews under the haystacks for eight months. They provided
the group with shelter and food for no compensation.
know us before he met us," Mordechai Halpern later testified. "We
couldn't offer him any money since we had been robbed of all our possessions...
I think he did it out of love of his fellow man. I have no other explanation."
In July 2004, Stefan and Anna were recognized by Yad
Vashem as Righteous
Persons. They had four daughters, one of whom, Miroslava Luchka,
received the medal and certificate on behalf of her late parents.