Bułat Marianna

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“Her desperate struggle was not in vain” – the story of Marianna Bułat

During the German occupation, Marianna Bułat, daughter of Józef and Tekla, lived with her sister, Julia Urbańska, in Warsaw at ul. Złota. After the closing of the Warsaw ghetto in November 1940, several Jewish people she knew managed to make contact with her from behind its walls. Those people were Alina Lewinson, her two daughters, Janina and Zofia, and her brother Stefan Fryszman with his wife Jadwiga. Before the war, they lived at ul. Graniczna 13 and their address of residence in the ghetto was Leszno 15.

Ever since they contacted her, she spared no efforts to save them. She did what she could to provide them with means of sustenance in the ghetto. First and foremost, she handled the sale of the family’s belongings and delivered the money to them by sneaking into the ghetto. After they got out the ghetto and ended up on the “Aryan side” in January 1943, Marianna continued helping them. She helped them to procure legalisation documents, to sell what little remained of their ghetto belongings, to escape from dangerous places, to find new hiding places, and to get from place to place in the city. She found hiding places for them in Warsaw and in its vicinity – in Rembertów, Wesoła, and Otwock. After the Warsaw Uprising, she transported Alina and her daughters to the village of Zielonki near Cracow where they stayed until the Germans left.

Marianna would not falter even in the face of frequent threats such as death penalty, denunciation, and blackmail. Her help was selfless and she required no reward. On the contrary – when the people under her care ran out of means of sustenance at the beginning of 1944, Marianna sold her land near Skolimów and thus acquired money for continuing to help her friends. She acted similarly after the Warsaw Uprising - she sold her jewellery to get money for the needs of people under her care. Her efforts proved worthwhile. All the women she helped lived through the war and only Stefan, Alina’s brother, died during the uprising in 1944. “Her desperate struggle was not in vain”, Alina Lewinson wrote.

After the war, the people she saved all maintained contact with Marianna right until her death in 1961. They also made friends with Marianna’s relatives, including her niece Janina Aleksandrowicz with whom Zofia Lewinson studied at the Warsaw University and then worked at the National Institute of Hygiene.

In 1993, on the basis of a statement of Janina Lewinson (married name Bauman), Marianna Bułat was awarded the Righteous Among the Nations title by the Yad Vashem Institute.

Other Stories of Rescue in the Area

Bibliography

  • Gutman Israel red. nacz., Księga Sprawiedliwych wśród Narodów Świata, Ratujący Żydów podczas Holocaustu, Kraków 2009
  • Archiwum Żydowskiego Instytutu Historycznego, Dział odznaczeń Yad Vashem. Dokumentacja sprawy Marianny Bułat, 349/24/1753