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Jewish Families from Zhuriv, Ukraine

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This project seeks to collect all of the Jewish families from the town of Zhuriv, Ukraine, also known as Żurów, Zhurov.

Gesher Galicia - Zhuriv

Polish Atrocities in the Ukraine

Belegai story

Overview of a Rescue Story

Ukrainian farmer Mikhailo Belegay lived with wife, Lubomira, and their little daughter, Volodimyra, in the village of Żurów (today Zhuriv) in the vicinity of Rohatyn (Stanisławów District, today Ivano-Frankivs’k). They were well acquainted with the Schreiers, fellow Zorów residents and the owners of the local grocery store.

When the area was occupied by the Germans at the beginning of July 1941, the Jews, including the Schreiers, were forced to move to the nearby town of Bukaczowce. One summer night, in July 1943, Mikhailo opened his door to find Eliezer Schreier and his sons, 13-year-old Izchak and seven-year-old Israel standing there. Eliezer told him how he had lost his wife, Malcia, and his father, Joshua, both of which were murdered in Bukaczowce (now Bukachivtsi) during the killing operation that took place on the Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur), 1942.

Against all odds, he and his sons had survived in the ghetto until it’s liquidation, June 6-9, 1943. They had now come to his door to ask him if he would be willing to hide them. After some hesitation, Mikhailo allowed the three Jewish fugitives to hide in the barn. Once a day Mikhailo, or sometimes Lubomira, would bring them food and empty the bucket they were using for their waste. The Belegays not only had to keep the presence of the Jews a secret from the neighbors, but also from their six-year-old Volodimyra, who was too young to keep a secret.

As the winter of 1943-1944 pressed on, the Belegays store of food ran out and they faced difficulties trying to feed all the mouths in their care. On many an occasion, Izchak would venture out of hiding to go and steal food from the villagers. On one such trip, he was caught, severely beaten, and imprisoned, but he managed to escape and return to his family. As the front line drew closer, the Belegays moved their wards to a safer place, a hole dug out under the pile of garbage in their courtyard. //

There the Schreiers spent the last months of the occupation, until the end of July 1944. Upon Mikhailo’s request, they left his house secretly, because he was concerned about what his neighbors would say or do if they found out that he helped Jews. A year later, the Schreiers left the Ukraine and in 1949, they settled in Israel. In 2003, Israel Schreier (by then Sharir) revisited his native village and contacted the Belegays’ daughter.

On December 12, 2003, Yad Vashem recognized Mikhailo and Lubomira Belegay as Righteous Among the Nations

Belegai FAMILY

Belegai Mikhailo (1914 - 1980 )

Belegai Lubomira (1919 - 1979 ), WIFE