Bank of Portraits / Mynyuk Panas and Vasylyna

Mynyuk Panas and Vasylyna 

During the Second World War, Panas and Vasylyna Mynyuk lived with their daughter and son in the occupied territory in the town of Kostopil, Rivne region. The family saved the Jewish boy Arie Koplyk from death by hiding him in their shelter.

Arie Leib Koplyk lived with his parents, Aaron and Malka, brother Shmuel and sister Libby in Berezne, Rivne region. In June 1942, all Jews were forcibly moved by the Nazis to a ghetto near the city. Arie and his brother were taken to a labor camp in Kostopil. A month later, all camp residents were taken to be shot. Arie and several other boys managed to escape into the woods. Arie Leib wanted to return to Berezny, but learned that all the city's Jews had been exterminated. During the summer he hid in the woods, sometimes coming out of it to get food. He met an acquaintance who once rented a room of his parents while studying. It was Yukhim, the younger brother of Panas Mynyuk. He promised the sick and exhausted boy to set up a hiding place at his brother's farm. Panas and Vasylyna immediately agreed to take care of Arie, cured him, hid him in the attic, underground or in the barn. The children took turns carrying him food. Even the neighbors had no idea that the family was hiding a Jew.

When it seemed that the danger was over, Arie began to come out of hiding and help with the household. In a few weeks, someone reported the family. Local police conducted a search. The boy was caught, but he managed to escape. Panas Mynyuk was brutally beaten. Later, Arie wanted to return to Panas, but the farm was already being watched. He was forced to hide in the surrounding forests.

After the expulsion of the Nazis from the region, Arie, along with his aunt and uncle, who were also rescued by a Ukrainian family, left for Poland, and from there to Israel. Panas died of typhus at the end of the war, his wife Vasylyna died in 1996.

In 2014, the National Memorial of Catastrophe and Heroism Yad Vashem posthumously recognized the Mynyuk family as Righteous Among the Nations. In June 2016, the daughter of the Righteous, Vira Horlata, received a diploma at the Memorial Complex. The award ceremony was organized by the Embassy of the State of Israel in Ukraine.

Taras Horodniak


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

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