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Ivan Vranetic, 84; helped Croat Jews hide from Nazis

Associated Press / February 7, 2010

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JERUSALEM - Ivan Vranetic, a Yugoslav partisan who saved Jews during the Holocaust and went on to head the organization that honors non-Jews who saved Jews from the Nazis, has died in Israel. He was 84.

Israel’s Holocaust memorial Yad Vashem recognized Mr. Vranetic in 1970 as a person named Righteous Among the Nations for helping Jews find hiding places in Croatia during World War II.

Mr. Vranetic, who was nicknamed Ivica, later moved to Israel and married one of the women he saved. He was granted honorary Israeli citizenship and in 1986 was elected chairman of Righteous Among the Nations.

More than 22,700 non-Jews have been recognized by Yad Vashem for risking their lives to save Jews.