“Because of Emilia Krutova’s unimaginable bravery, for twelve Jewish souls, the question of annihilation or liberation was answered with freedom.” – Consul General David Siegel
To grant title to those who helped Jews during the darkest time in their history, Israel’s Remembrance Authority established the Righteous Among the Nations. To this end, Yad Vashem set up a public Commission, headed by a Supreme Court Justice, which examines each case and is responsible for granting the title. Those recognized receive a medal and a certificate of honor and their names are commemorated on the Mount of Remembrance in Jerusalem.
For the first time in five years, the recognition was bestowed upon a local hero on Monday to coincide with Holocaust Remembrance Day.
Emila Krutova, a naturalized American citizen from Slovakia, found herself trapped by the war during a visit back home to her village of Bresova.
She was a young widow, with two small children and an elderly father living in a two room cottage.
During the middle of the war, at the peak of the Holocaust, she opened her home to 12 Jews and hid them in her upstairs bedroom for the duration of the war. If anyone entered the room downstairs where she and her family were living, she would tap the ceiling and they would climb into an abandoned adjoining attic.
Emilia cared for and fed the 12 Jewish she was protecting – would shop three times a day for food in different places so as not to raise suspicion as to why a small family would need to buy so much.
If discovered, Emilia, her entire family, and the Jews she was hiding would be shot on sight.
As a young boy, Emila’s son Edward remembers the Jewish families his mother took in. He remembers the great lifelong friendship his older sister developed with one of the survivors who still lives in Israel.
Consul General of Israel, David Siegel bestowed the honor of Yad Vashem’s title of Righteous Among Nations to Emila Krutova and said, “because of Emilia Krutova’s unimaginable bravery, for twelve Jewish souls, the question of annihilation or liberation was answered with freedom.”
Edward Kruto, Emilia Krutova’s accepted the honor of Righteous Among Nations on behalf of his mother, Emila Kruto.