Sala Goldhar (née Armal) is 87 years old and a truly phenomenal lady.
She was just 5 years old in July 1941 when the Germans conquered her hometown, Stryi. In a short time, Ukrainians and local Poles conducted a pogrom against the Jews, murdering about 300 people.
The Germans, with the assistance of the Ukrainian police, murdered most of the town’s 11,000 Jews in a nearby forest or rounded them up to be sent to the Belzec extermination camp.
Her parents handed her over to a 40-year-old Polish teacher, Anila Dembinski, to be smuggled out of the Ghetto to the Aryan side. This was the last time she ever saw her parents.
Anila hid Sala in their apartment for a number of months, until the neighbors began to suspect something. The punishment for those hiding Jews was immediate execution.
Anila took Sala by train to her parents Mikolaj and Helena Sajowski, who raised her as their granddaughter in the town of Czortkow.
After liberation in 1944, local Holocaust survivors began to search for Jewish children that were hidden with Poles and Sala was found by Dr. Israel Shor.
In 1945 they moved to the large Polish city of Krakow, before moving on to the land of Israel.
Sala insisted on staying in the destroyed Poland while pining for her parents. For two years she was moved to three different orphanages and held on to the one and only pre-war picture she had of herself and her parents taken in the summer of 1939.
Finally, Sala gave up on searching for her parents, and had to move on. She boarded a ship to Ellis Island and was taken in by a Canadian organization for adopting Jewish children, her 5th family in her young life.
She managed to rebuild her life in Canada from scratch, married Leo Goldhar, and the couple had three children, Karen, Steven and Mitchell.
In 2018, Mikolaj and Helena Sajowski & Aniela Dembinska were posthumously honored as Righteous Among The Nations for their role in saving Sala’s life.