Israel posthumously honors Belgian couple who saved Jewish boy during Holocaust

Yad Vashem posthumously honored Henri and Emilie Lamberty from Belgium for helping to save a Jewish boy during the Holocaust.

By: World Israel News Staff
(With files from Yad Vashem)

Israel on Thursday honored the late Henri and Emilie (Neyes) Lamberty from Belgium for saving Jews during the Holocaust and bestowed upon them the title of Righteous Among the Nations, people who risked their lives to save Jews during the cataclysmic period.

Yad Vashem, the Jerusalem-based World Holocaust Remembrance Center, hosted the ceremony during which a medal and certificate of honor were presented to Jacqueline Lamberty, their daughter, on behalf of the state of Israel and the Jewish people.

Belgian Ambassador to Israel Olivier Belle, Director General of the Belgian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation Anick van Calster and Holocaust survivor Georges Gutelman and his wife Aline attended the ceremony.

The names of Henri and Emilie Lamberty were also added to the Wall of Honor in the Garden of the Righteous Among the Nations at Yad Vashem.

Refuge during a tumultuous period

Henri Lamberty was a carpenter who lived with his wife, Emilie, in Voroux-Goreux, Belgium.

Towards the end of 1942, Jacques Gutelman, a Jewish salesman from Liege, turned to the Lambertys for help. After Jacques’ wife Rywka was deported to Auschwitz on September 12, 1942, Jacques had joined the underground and was looking for a safe place to hide their two sons.

The Lamberty family opened their doors and their hearts to five-year-old Georges and hid him until the end of the Holocaust, when his father came to collect him. The two families stayed in touch after the war, and Georges often spent time over the holidays with his rescuers.

Forty years after liberation, during “Operation Moses” in the winter of 1984-1985, Georges Gutelman himself became the rescuer of thousands of Jews. He provided the Israeli authorities with planes from his own airline company to rescue thousands of Ethiopian Jews.

These immigrants had endured a long and difficult trek crossing into Sudan and were awaiting rescue at camps in the desert. The planes flew them via Belgium to Israel, their long-awaited promised land.

On  June 13, 2017, Yad Vashem recognized Henri and Emilie Lamberty as Righteous Among the Nations.

To date, Yad Vashem has recognized some 27,000 individuals from over 50 countries as Righteous Among the Nations.