Nikolai Koblas of Moldova --the Saver of one Jewish Girl


Rybnica, Moldova… 1944 -- With the German invasion of the Soviet Union in June 1941, the Jews in Moldova were immediately rounded up and either murdered on the spot or herded into ghettos. Maria and her parents were caught by the Germans and put in the Rybnica Ghetto. In 1944, with the Soviet Army advancing, the Germans dragged her parents out of the ghetto and drowned them in the Dnestr River. Maria, who was 17, escaped this aktion and fled into the town of Rybnica. 

Maria knew no one. She sought help from a number of families -- each turned her down. She came to the home of Nikolai Koblas and his family. They agreed to hide her. It was no casual offer &endash; people caught harboring Jews from the Nazis and their collaborators were subject to death themselves. But Nikolai could not be a bystander as he saw the tremendous and growing evil surrounding him. In spite of the tremendous risk, the Koblas family took Maria in andprovided for her until the end of the war. Nikolai's courage and commitment saved Maria's life. 

Nikolai, now in his 70s and living still in Rybnica, performed true acts of heroism. He was recognized as a Righteous Among the Nations by Yad Vashem, Israel's Holocaust Authority, in May 2001.


From: Jewish Foundation for the Righteous