Ivan Vranetic


Ivan, a Catholic, was raised to “love humankind.” Ivan began hiding Jews in 1942, at the age of 15. A group of Jewish refugees reached his town in Topusko, Yugoslavia. Ivan cared for them, helping them find food and hiding places. One of the people he helped was Erna Montilo, who arrived with her mother, sister and two year old baby. Ivan hid them in his home until he was able to find them a hiding place.

Because the town of Topusko was on the German border, the Nazis frequently conducted raids. Ivan would warn the Jews when searches were going to take place and often escaped to the forest with the Jews he was harboring. During the years of the war, Ivan saved 22 Jews.

Ivan fell in love with Erna and years later came to Israel to be with her. Prior to his death in 2010, Ivan lived in Holon for nearly 50 years was the chairman of the Organization of the Righteous Among the Nations in Israel. He represented the group at ceremonies and public events, stayed in touch with all the rescuers and worked effortlessly to help these individuals as much as possible on a daily basis.