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Family honoured by Israeli president for saving Hampstead Garden Suburb girl from the Nazis

PUBLISHED: 07:00 17 March 2013 | UPDATED: 13:51 19 March 2013

Esther Graham as a child (left) with Yvonne Gustin (right)

Esther Graham as a child (left) with Yvonne Gustin (right)

Archant

A Catholic family who risked their lives to hide a Hampstead Garden Suburb woman from the Nazis has been honoured for bravery with an award presented by Israeli president Shimon Peres.

Yvonne Gustin receiving her award from Israeli president Shimon PeresYvonne Gustin receiving her award from Israeli president Shimon Peres

Esther Graham, 77, was just six when the Gustin family took her into their Belgian home and shielded her from occupying Nazis in 1942.

The family saved her life by claiming she was the illegitimate daughter of Yvonne Gustin, the family’s youngest daughter.

Last Tuesday, Yvonne, 90, attended the Yad Vashem Righteous Among the Nations awards ceremony at Palais d’Egmont, in Brussels, Belgium, where the Israeli president gave her an award for her family’s heroics in protecting the Jewish girl.

Mrs Graham, said: “They risked their lives for me, I took their name and they brought me up. If they hadn’t done that I probably would not be alive today.

“They were more than kind to me, they gave me love and security.”

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