Leon Chameides

Righteous Gentile Or Nazi Supporter?

Wartime leader of Ukrainian church sheltered many Jews, but decades-long campaign has not brought Yad Vashem’s highest honor.

04/10/2012
Staff Writer

In the late summer of 1942, 7-year-old Leon Chameides accompanied his father on an hour-long truck ride. As the Nazis tightened their grip over the Ukraine, the two journeyed from a village in the western part of the country where the Chameides family, Jews from Poland, had found refuge with relatives, to Lvov, the major city in that region. After stepping down from the truck, father and son walked to a towering building on Mount Jur, in the center of the city, where they knocked on the door of Ukraine’s Greek Catholic Church headquarters.

Leon Chameides.
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