Holocaust survivor, 89, weds woman nearly 50 years younger
Holocaust survivor Jack Garfein, 89, said “I do” to his 42-year-old bride, Natalia Repolovsky, last Sunday on the Upper West Side.
Garfein wept with joy as he entered the chapel of Congregation Rodeph Sholom.
“I can’t believe all of this love I’m surrounded by after everything I’ve gone through in my life,” he told The Post while choking back more tears after the ceremony.
Garfein, who was born in then-Czechoslovakia, lost his parents and sisters when they were marched to the Nazi gas chambers. He himself survived 11 concentration camps.
Among his wedding guests was Jack Terry, 89, whom he has known since World War II.
“I met Jack in 1945 at the Flossenbürg concentration camp,” Terry, 89, told The Post. “We shouldn’t even be alive . . . And here I am at his wedding.”
Garfein, who came to the US at the age of 14, spoke no English at first but went on to become a major figure in The Actors Studio — where he collaborated with Marlon Brando, Marilyn Monroe and James Dean. He directed the films “The Strange One” in 1957 and “Something Wild” in 1961, and is credited with discovering actor Steve McQueen.
He met his now-bride seven years ago at a friend’s party. Repolovsky, a technical writer, had just arrived in Manhattan from Moscow.
“Jack made me realize who I was because I was looking at myself through the eyes of someone who loved me,” said Rapolovsky. “That is Jack’s greatest gift to me.”
As previously reported by The Post, the pair, who reside in Brooklyn, were engaged in July 2016. They had planned on tying the knot the next month but were delayed after Garfein developed pneumonia, which led to other health issues.
Two years later, the bride acknowledged that some people are skeptical of their extreme May-December romance.
“It’s so amazing to get all of our closest friends together in one room,” said Repolovsky, who wore an embroidered lace Elie Saab dress for the wedding. “The people who never judged and always supported our unusual union.”
This is her second marriage and Garfein’s third. He has four children.
And their closest supporters don’t even see the age difference anymore.
“They truly love each other. A love like Jack and Natalia’s is rare,” said Garfein’s daughter-in-law Vicki Bernstein. “I’m happy for them. Love is love.”
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