Yossi Mor, 77, and sister Sarah Yanai, 86, bestow hugs on Melpomeni Dina Gianopoulou, 92 (centre) (Picture: AFP)
Two Holocaust survivors have been reunited with a Greek woman who helped hide their family from the Nazis during the Second World War.
Sarah Yanai, 86, was just a schoolgirl when Melpomeni Dina Gianopoulou, now 92, and her sisters hid six members of her family in Greece.
They had first hidden the Jewish family in a mosque, before moving them into their own home in Veria, a small town near Thessaloniki, where they stayed for two years.
Sarah and her brother Yossi Mor, 77, brought their children and grandchildren to the Hall of Names, in Jerusalem’s Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial centre, to meet and thank Melpomeni.
Discussing their reunion, Sarah said: ‘It is a very emotional feeling, I can’t describe it.’
Melpomeni hid the Jewish siblings in her house for two years (Picture: AFP)
She continued: ‘We were hidden in her house. She saved all my family. Six [people], you can’t imagine how dangerous it was for her, for her family, to keep us all.
‘What can I say. They saved our lives.’
Melpomeni and her sisters first hid Sarah, Yossi, who was just two months old at the time, and their family in a mosque as the persecution of Jews worsened during the Second World War.
However, their situation started ‘deteriorating’, with the siblings’ brother Shmuel falling ill during their time in hiding.
The Greek sisters then risked their lives to take the boy to hospital, walking in the middle of the night with him on their shoulders.
Sadly they went back to see him days later and found he had died.
Sarah and Yossi brought more than 20 of their family members to meet Melpomeni, and they each hugged her one-by-one during the reunion.
One of Yossi’s grandchildren, 28, said he had grown up hearing the story of the sisters over and over.
In 1994, Melpomeni and her sisters were honoured by Yad Vashem and granted the title of ‘Righteous Among the Nations’.
The title is given to those who helped Jews during the Second World War and has been awarded to more than 27,000 people since its creation.
After meeting the family, Melpomeni said she ‘would like to have saved more’ Jewish people during the Holocaust.
Approximately 6,000,000 Jews were killed by the Nazis between 1939 and 1945.
Source: Metro UK