Bank of Portraits / Maria Kutnych

Kutnych Maria

Maria Kutnych with her children Yuriy, Ivan and Maria lived in the village Velyki Komyaty in region of Zakarpattia.  Her husband died. She was working hard to feed her family, but she gave shelter for a Jewish boy.

Before the war, Yeshua Grinfeld was a teacher in Debrecen, Hungary. In 1944, when Hungarian Jews were forced to live in ghettos, Yeshua decided to resettle in Zakarpattia, the native region of his parents.

But Jews from Zakarpattia were also ordered to take their belongings and leave their homes. Yeshua asked his relatives not to do this mistake, but they disobeyed.  His sister Ester asked Maria Kutnych to host Yeshua. The deportation started  on the next day. Yeshua’s mother, his sisters Ester and Hava were deported to Auschwitz.

Yeshua was hidden in Maria’s cellar. Maria’s family had huge food problems, but her children shared their food with Yeshua. One of the neighbors saw Yeshua and she was blackmailing Maria. The woman told Yeshua to be on the attic, but she didn’t chase him away. When the region was liberated from Nazi forces, Yeshua volunteered for the Red Army. His sister Ester was his only relative who survived the deportation.

After the end of the war, Yeshua emigrated to Argentina and he lost all connections with Maria. But his sister Ester and her daughter Shura have a nice relationship with Maria. Later, Shura sent a letter to Yad Vashem with a request to award Maria by Righteous Among the Nations award.

On October 23, 2017, her award was received by the granddaughter of Maria – Nadia Yurychko in the National Museum of History of Ukraine in the Second World War.

Zlatko Zlatanov

Kyiv

National museum of the History of Ukraine in the Second World War

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