A year and a half ago, an e-mail arrived at Yad Vashem's Righteous Among the Nations department. The sender, a resident of Germany, wished to inquire whether a deceased relative of his, a Wehrmacht soldier named Gerhard Kurzbach, was worthy of being granted recognition as one of the Righteous Among the Nations.

In response to the e-mail, the department's director, Irena Steinfeldt, opened an investigation in the Yad Vashem Archives. "And suddenly a fabulous story started coming together for me," she related this week.

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