Helena Rotter-Bohosiewicz

Before and during the war, Helena Bohosiewicz lived with her family in the village of Kozice, near Lwow, where she had a farm. Bohosiewicz was friendly with the Jewish families who lived in her village and in surrounding villages, especially with the Rotter and Hecht families. In 1941, with the occupation of the area by the Germans, and the deportation of the local Jews to ghettos in the various cities, the Rotters and Hechts were interned in the Grodek Jagiellonski ghetto near Lwow. Even then, Bohosiewicz kept up contact with them and came to the ghetto to bring them the little food she could spare.

The Rotters and Hechts knew that in an emergency they could count on Bohosiewicz. When the Rotter’s son, Osiasz, decided not to go into the ghetto but to stay in the village, Bohosiewicz hid him in her home for almost two years, until the summer of 1944, when the area was liberated. In late 1942, 12-year-old Tosia Hecht and her 17-year-old sister, Rosa, the only surviving members of their family, turned up unexpectedly on Bohosiewicz’s doorstep and were given a warm welcome by Bohosiewicz, who hid them and looked after them devotedly. Since Ukrainian nationalists suspected her of hiding Jews in her home, and even searched her house, Bohosiewicz obtained Aryan papers for the sister, which enabled them to find work in the surrounding villages. After the war, the Hecht sisters immigrated to Israel. Osiasz Rotter married Bohosiewicz, who decided to throw in her lot with the Jewish people. In 1950, they immigrated to Israel.

On June 20, 1990, Yad Vashem recognized Helena Rotter (née Bohosiewicz) as Righteous Among the Nations.

(Excerpt from “The Encyclopedia of the Righteous Among the Nations”, Poland, Yad Vashem Press, p. 678)