Helping Jews during World War II in Nazi-occupied Europe was often punishable by the death of the Savior himself and his entire family. As a sign of gratitude, the Jewish people initiated an honorary title for such people – Righteous Among the Nations.
This title is awarded by the state of Israel to honor non-Jews who risked their lives during the Holocaust to save Jews from being exterminated by the Nazis. It can only be obtained on the recommendation of the Jewish community, and a special commission examines all documents and testimonies of people who can confirm the fact of salvation.
The title is awarded to a person who took an active part in saving Jews from the danger of execution or deportation to a death camp. At the same time, the Savior did not expect to receive any financial compensation in return and also did not harm any other person during his later life.
As of January 1, 2020, 2,659 Ukrainian citizens were awarded the title of Righteous Among the Nations by Israel for saving Jews from the Holocaust, that is, the Nazi policy of extermination.
The most famous Ukrainians who saved Jews during the Holocaust are UGCC priest Omelyan Kovch and Metropolitan Andrey Sheptytsky, who has not yet been recognized as a Righteous Among the Nations.
The title of Righteous Among the Nations is held by Klymenty Sheptytsky.
As RISU has reported, the Chief Rabbi of Ukraine asks Yad Vashem to recognize Andrey Sheptytsky as a “Righteous Among the Nations”.