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The Righteous Among Nations
on April 3, 2010
The many customer reviews on THE GIRL WITH THE GREEN SWEATER reflect readers' impressions with the tribulations endured by Krystyna, a seven year old girl. They are touched profoundly by the indomitable spirit manifested by eleven people staying for fourteen months in a sewer. I am prompted to comment about Socha's characteristics and about his two coworkers, Wroblewski and Kowalow.
Leopold Socha was a ruffian. Most of his life, since adolescence, had been spent behind bars. When he met and married Wanda she convinced him to turn his life around. He had rediscovered his Catholic roots. He learned in the church that by helping others, you can help yourself. He came to believe that he might absolve himself of past sins by becoming a decent and a compassionate person.
When Socha had met Ignacy Chiger, Krystyna's father, along with several other persecuted Jews on their exploration into a sewer, he offered his help. The actual risk to Socha's life, as well as to the life of his two coworkers, outweighed the initial recompense from Chiger. Only the human kindness of those three men stood between them and certain death for the twenty two, which later dwindled to eleven, Jewish people. Socha and Wroblewski were crawling through the sewage, two kilometers each way, to bring food and other basic necessities to the people living in a dungeon. They provided the downtrodden with access to the outside world. Socha's wife, Wanda, who had no love for Jews, had tried incessantly to dissuade her husband's from helping them. Socha listened to the dictates of his heart and kept his loyalty to the persecuted Jews whose life depended on him. Socha even prepared shelters for them when the Russian liberators arrived. Socha was a wonderful human being, a righteous person among many wicked Nazis and their Ukrainian collaborators as well as some Polish sympathizers.
A German woman who risked her life to help me during the Holocaust, as narrated in my book "From A Name to A Number," is my heroine till the last day of my life. Now, so is Leopold Socha. Tragically, Socha was killed after the war in a traffic accident. I hope that God had rewarded Socha for his noble deeds.
THE GIRL WITH THE GREEN SWEATER is a truly amazing life story. It is heart-breaking, very informative and well written. Although I had personally experienced and witnessed atrocities committed by the Nazis, I find this book very informative and it enhances my knowledge about the Holocaust and its ramifications. Thanks Krystyna for writing this book.