The Adamczyk Family

enlarge map


3 audios

“It was a very difficult decision”. The story of the Adamczyk family

In the 1930’s, the Adamczyk family moved to Oborniki in Wielkopolska Province. The father, Jan, was a clerk while his wife, Marianna, was a housewife who cared for the home and their four children – Helena, Jadwiga, Lucjanna and Jan.

In 1940, ”when a German perished in Oborniki, the whole family was transported to Denkow, near Ostrowiec Świętokrzyski” (now the Ostrowiec Świętokrzyski district), says Lucjana Kuźnicka in an interview for the Museum of the History of Polish Jews. The Adamczyk family took over the living room of the home of Icek and Sara Frymel, who had moved into two smaller rooms. Lucjanna and Jadwiga became very good friends with their children - Chaim, Mojżesz and Blimka. ”They became very close. And not only with them. We formed a kind of a group. We would meet up, chat and, like that, we became friends. We had photos of us taken together”, Jadwiga Szczeszak told the Museum. 

They shared a common kitchen. Because Sara Frymel kept kosher, they cooked separately. Sometimes, the Adamczyk family help their hosts prepare for Shabbat. Lucjanna Kuźnicka recalls, “(...) they had a holiday once for which they had special saucepans. Those pots were washed and were kept (...) in the kitchen (...) on a kind of stove. (...)  My brother was so cheeky that , when we also had a holiday, he had some sausage and he put it into that pot (...) What happened?  Chaim was cursing and gave us that pot. He didn’t want it anymore. My brother was so cheeky”.  

Mojżesz and Chaim worked on the roads in Kunowa. In October 1942, they were directed into the slave labour camp for Jews in Bodzechów (opened on 1st October 1942). They starved there. Three times per week, the Adamczyk family took them food. Helena, the eldest of the siblings, was the motivating force behind providing this help.

At that same time, on the 12th October 1942, the remaining Denkow Jews were assembled in the market square. Among them were Icek, Sara and Blimka Frymel. They perished in Treblinka. Before being deported, Icek begged Marianna Adamczyk to take care of his sons

Chaim and Mojżesz worked in the camp until its liquidation. In February 1943, having escaped from a transport heading to Opatów, they reappeared in Denkow, asking the Adamczyk family for help. “It was a very difficult decision! They simply got down on their knees and begged for help”. The men settled in with the Adamczyk family, in a hiding place built inside the house in which they had lived before the War.

Lucjanna and Jadwiga were still worried that Chaim and Mojżesz’s hiding place would be discovered. “When we went out shopping or to Ostrowiec, we’d return with our hearts in our mouths, worried that something might have happened. Maybe they could already have been shot”.

In January 1945, the Red Army entered Denkow. The Adamczyk family considered how best to fake Chaim and Mojżesz’s return to Denkow, so that no one would realise that they had been hidden in what used to be their own home. It was decided that, during the night, they would go to the home of their former teacher and would return later to the Adamczyk family. “So, at noon, they officially returned here through that door – so that everyone would see that they were returning to us”, recalls Lucjanna Kuźnicka.