Anti-Nazi Hero Aaron Bielski Awaits Prosecution For Grand Theft
November 21, 2007 5:50 a.m. EST
(AHN) – The only surviving anti-Nazi hero from the famed Bielski brothers has been arrested and is awaiting prosecution for swindling a survivor of the Holocaust.
Aron Bielski, now known as Aaron Bell, is currently facing charges of kidnapping, grand theft and exploitation of the elderly together with his wife Henryka, after a 93-year-old neighbor accused them of convincing her into signing over more than $250,000 worth of bank accounts.
According to investigators, the Bells gained power of attorney over Janina Zaniewska’s bank accounts in December 2005, and then moved the money into their own accounts. The Bells also tricked Zaniewska into taking a trip in May, but instead of going to her native Poland to visit friends, the couple admitted Zaniewska into a nursing home in Warsaw.
Zaniewska was found when a bank manager informed police in August that the Bells were withdrawing Zaniewska’s money. Zaniewska returned to the United States on Oct. 4, and charges were filed against the Bells on Oct. 8.
The Associated Press cites the couple’s attorney, Steven Gomberg, as saying Zaniewska was senile and the Bells were only helping her with her finances.
The charges carry a maximum of 90 years in prison.
The Bielski brothers are world-renowned for having saved at least 1,200 fellow Jews during the Holocaust. Their life hiding in a Belorussian forest has been documented in books and documentaries. A Hollywood movie about them starring Daniel Craig is due for release in 2008.