Bank of Portraits / Sarabun Vasyl, Anastasia and son Stepan

Sarabun Vasyl, Anastasia and son Stepan 

Vasyl and Anastasia Sarabun and their son Stepan lived on a farm near the village of Kryvche during the Nazi occupation. In early 1941 the eldest son Ivan was recruited to the Red Army.  Daughters lived separately with their families. Stepan worked with his father as a forester. In the summer of 1943, in the woods he met his friend Adolf Zeftel and his mother Eleonora. He had not seen them since the Jews were driven to the ghetto in Borschow in April 1942. Adolf said that they managed to escape from there with the whole family. But during the escape father Yulian and younger sister Ruzia got lost, and he and his mother had been wandering in the woods hungry for several days.

Stepan took the fugitives home and hid them in the attic of the barn. The parents approved their son's decision, as they had been providing food for the Rosenblatt Jewish family in the woods for several weeks.

For two months, Adolf Zeftel and his mother lived in the Sarabun family. But later rumors spread in the village that the forester's family was hiding Jews, and Stepan was forced to take them to the forest in late September 1943, where he helped them to build a shelter. In winter, the Zeftel family returned to the house of the Sarabun. They  learned that Yulian and Ruzia had been raided and killed by the Nazis.

Until the liberation of the region from the Nazis in April 1944, Stepan and his parents hid his old friend Benio Spindel in the attic.

Stepan Sarabun was recruited to the Red Army in May 1944. In 1945 he was a Red Navy member of the 280th Air Defense Brigade of the Pacific Fleet, a participant of the Soviet-Japanese war. He served together with his older brother Ivan. Demobilized in 1950.

After the war, the Rosenblatt family and Benio Spindel moved to Israel. Eleonora and Adolf Zeftel lived in Ukraine until 1990 and kept in touch with their rescuers. Vasyl Sarabun died of typhus the year after the end of World War II.

Vasyl Sarabun was posthumously awarded the title of Righteous Among the Nations on April 25, 1995. His wife Anastasia and son Stepan received this honorary award.

Vitaliy Horobets

Kyiv

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

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