William Donat

“This is a picture of my mother holding my granddaughter, her great-granddaughter. This was made possible by Maria and Stefan Magenheim because they made it possible for me to survive and live to have grandchildren. The number is from Auschwitz. My family refers to this picture as ‘Am Yisrael Chai.’” -William Donat

In 1943, William Donat was just five years old when he was smuggled out of the Warsaw ghetto and hidden by his parents’ brave non-Jewish friends, Maria and Stefan Magenheim. The couple concealed the young Jewish boy’s identity while putting themselves at great risk and saved his life. After the war, William reunited with his parents and moved to the United States. In 2009, Maria and Stefan were honored by Yad Vashem as Righteous Among the Nations. William passed away that same year at the age of 71.