The son of the Chief Rabbi of L’viv, Lemberg, Lwow, Lvov, Leopol carried out an extraordinary task and duty toward Metropolitan Andrew Sheptytsky, the outstanding head of the Greek Catholic Ukrainian Byzantine Church and redeployer. A survivor due to the work of the Metropolitan, Kurt Lewin persistently ought throughout his life and journey through illusion for the recognition of the sainthood and righteous man of faith who combatted for the Jews and the Ukrainians alike. I am convinced that his work will be finally recognized both by the Jewish institutions (Yad VaShem i. a.) and the Catholic Church and also the Ukrainian nation. It is quite amazing that all those who pretend to be involved in dealing with hunting the Nazis cannot publish any obituary on Kurt Lewin, a real Jew and a witness of nascent Israel, whose spiritual resistance makes sense at the present. Note that due to his testimony to which he clutched with much consistency and steadfast spirit, the Catholic Church decided to reopen the cause of the canonization of Metropolitan Sheptytsky in 1958-9 and confided the task of the prosecution to late Kyr Mgr Michael Hrynchyshyn who passe away one year ago.
זאל דער אויבערשטער געדענקן אן דעם קנעכט פון גאטיענו רבונו של עולם ווי א חזיד און א מענטש פון אמתדיקער מענטשלעכקייט וואס האט תמיד געקעמפט פאר דער גערעכטיקייט און דערקענונג פון מעטראפאליטאן גראף שעפטיצקי ז”ל.
Kurt Lewin, saved by Metropolitan Andriy Sheptytskyy, died (article from RISU, Ukrainian information news in English)
Kurt Lewin, a son of a Rabbi from Lviv died the evening on June 17 at a hospital in New York. During the German occupation Metropolitan Sheptytsky rescued Kurt Lewin and his brother Nathan from the Nazis. In appreciation of this, Kurt Lewin devoted his entire life to the matter of beatification of Metropolitan Andriy, reports Radio Liberty.
Kurt Lewin testified twice in the case of Metropolitan Sheptytskyi. In 1959, based on his testimony the case for beatification was reopened.
“I did what I actually wanted to, I knew that this was my duty. I went to Rome and gave my testimony as proof that I and my brother were rescued by Metropolitan Andriy. At that time they took no interest in Rome in the procedure of Metropolitan’s beatification, as they didnot understand the Ukrainian-Polish relations. On my own example I proved the righteousness of Metropolitan’s life, and Pope John XXIII renewed the beatification procedure. To my mind, the Metropolitan is a saint, I believe that the beatification procedure will end soon”, said Kurt Lewin in an interview to Radio Liberty in 2008.
Kurt Lewin was born in 1925 in Poland. His father Ezekiel was a rabbi in the Polish city of Katowice. In the 30-ies he and his family moved to Lviv. Kurt Lewin’s mother died, his father married for the second time and Rachel replaced him his mother. The Lviv rabbi made friends with UGCC Metropolitan Andriy Sheptytskyy.
When the Second World War burst out, Metropolitan Sheptitsky offered his protection to the rabbi and his family, but the latter refused, saying that a rabbi should stay with his community. Ezekiel was shot dead in front of his son Kurt. Rachel was left with three sons. She and eldest son died in the ghetto.
Kurt Lewin described his life and the memories about the Sheptytskyys brothers in his book “A Journey Through Illusion”, which translated into Ukrainian. Through the efforts of Kurt Lewin a separate department was created, dedicated to the figure of Metropolitan Sheptytskyy in the Holocaust Museum in Washington.
Along with other Jews in 1981 Kurt Lewin sought from the Holocaust Memorial “Yad Vashem” in Israel to grant Metropolitan Andriy title “Righteous among the Nations”, which was awarded to Metropolitan’s brother Clement Sheptitsky. However, he pointed out that justice and not politics shall govern on this issue.
The biggest dream of Kurt Lewin was glorification of Metropolitan Andriy Sheptytskyi as a new martyr and saint.