ADL Honors Righteous Christian for His Efforts to Save Jews of Belarus During the Holocaust
Palm Beach, FL, February 10, 2005 … In recognition of his heroic rescue of Jews during the Holocaust, the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) presented its Courage To Care Award to Konstantin Koslovsky of Belarus posthumously. With the assistance of several members of his family, Koslovsky, a righteous Christian, helped hundreds of Jews flee from the Novogrudek ghetto and reach a Jewish partisan unit in the woods of western Belarussia.
The award was presented by Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director, during the League's National Executive Committee Meeting in Palm Beach, Florida. Mr. Foxman's own life was saved during the Holocaust when his Catholic nanny had him baptized and hid him throughout the war.
"Konstantin Koslovsky's gift, from his greatness of heart and spirit, made it possible for more than 500 Jews of western Belarussia to survive when millions of others all over Europe did not," said Mr. Foxman. "An Orthodox Christian, Konstantin Koslovsky was a quiet, unprepossessing man. Yet through his courageous actions, taken at great personal risk, Jewish lives were saved. How different history would have been had there been more Konstantin Koslovskys."
The award was accepted by Aron Bielski Bell, a member of the family rescued by Koslovsky, and Eileen Ludwig-Greenland, an ADL National Commissioner from New York City who sponsors the Courage to Care Award.
Beginning in the late summer of 1942, Koslovsky began sneaking messages to the Jews of the Novogrudek ghetto, urging them to flee and seek refuge in his home on the edge of the forest, which served as a way station to the Bielski brothers in the woods. The Koslovsky family, along with other underground activists, dug a 300-meter underground tunnel to aid in the Jews' escape. Koslovsky was a vital ally of the Bielski brothers' operation, which saved an estimated 1,200 Jews from the Holocaust. Koslovsky and his sons Gennady and Vladimir were recognized in 1993 by Yad Vashem as "Righteous Among the Nations."
In 1987, ADL initiated a unique award to honor rescuers of Jews during the Holocaust era. The ADL Courage to Care Award is a plaque with bas-reliefs depicting the backdrop to the rescuers' exceptional deeds – the Nazi's persecution, deportation and murder of millions of Jews. Past recipients of the ADL Courage to Care Award include: Jan and Miep Gies, Aristides De Sousa Mendes, Jan Karski, Selahattin Ulkumen, Chiune Sugihara, the French town of Le Chambon-Sur-Lignon, Emilie and Oskar Schindler, The Partisans of Riccione, Italy and Johanna Vos.
The Anti-Defamation League, founded in 1913, is the world's leading organization fighting anti-Semitism through programs and services that counteract hatred, prejudice and bigotry.