ON THIS DATE in 1945, eighteen-year-old Feodor Mikhailichenko protected eight-year-old Israel Meir Lau by lying on top of the boy as gunfire erupted during the liberation of the Buchenwald concentration camp. Previously, Mikhailichenko had kept the youngster alive by cooking him stolen potatoes and knitting him ear warmers. The boy, who grew up to be Rabbi Israel Meir Lau, never found his protector, who died in 1993, but he did locate Mikhailichenko’s two daughters in 2009. Introducing them to his eight children, 50 grandchildren, and five great-grandchildren, the rabbi said, “If it wasn’t for your father, none of them would exist.”

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