Lesniak To Honor Holocaust Heroine

TRENTON – This afternoon, New Jersey state Sen. Raymond J. Lesniak will present a ceremonial resolution on the floor of the State Senate to Camille Ponchaut, the great granddaughter of Adolphine Dorel, a Frenchwoman who hid Bernie Schanzer, his brother, Henry Schanzer and his sister, Anna Steinberg from the Nazis during the German occupation of France in World War II.

Lesniak was alerted to the heroism of Madame Dorel by Bernie Schanzer, a neurologist in Elizabeth who has been treating the senator following his stroke a few weeks ago. Dr. Schanzer’s brother Henry, a lawyer from Edison, and Ms. Ponchaut will be in attendance for the resolution.

For her acts of heroism during the Holocaust, Adolphine Dorel has been recognized as one of the “Righteous among the Nations” by Yad Veshem, Israel’s official memorial to the Jewish victims of the Holocaust. Since 1963, a commission headed by a justice of the Supreme Court of Israel has recognized non-Jewish individuals who, at personal risk, helped to save the lives of Jews during the Holocaust. Individuals who are recognized as “Righteous among the Nations” by Yad Vashem receive a certificate of honor and a medal and their names are commemorated in the Garden of the Righteous among the Nations on the Mount of Remembrance.

Madame Dorel passed away shortly after the close of World War II and was inducted posthumously into the ranks of the “Righteous among the Nations” in 1980.

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