The Danko Family

enlarge map

Story of the Dańko family

Krystyna’s (Krysia) father (b. 1917), Karol Chłond, worked as secretary of the municipal council in Otwock for many years. As a widely respected citizen, he had many friends, both Poles and Jews. His four children grew up in a spirit of respect for other human beings regardless of their nationality or religion.

Krysia Chłond and Lusia Kokoszko became friends in middle school. They sat in one bench at school for five years  and visited each other at home.

When the Kokoszko family was in the ghetto in Otwock during the war, Krystyna still visited them often, although it was forbidden. She also brought them money from Warsaw. Lusia’s parents asked Krystyna to take their younger daughter, 6-year-old Maryna, to Warsaw, to a safer place in the district of Leszno. The parents, along with Lusia,  escaped from the ghetto and hid in Celestynów, and later in Józefów. Krystyna visited them there as well,serving as a contact person between the parents and daughter hidden in Warsaw. Dr. Michał Kokoszko, working under the false name Kosowski, ran a pediatric clinic.

The entire Kokoszko family managed to survive the war. They lived in Warsaw for the rest of their lives. As emphasized by Krystyna Dańko, her whole family believed that helping other people was completely natural. There was another Jewish child, who lived for several months in the Chłond family’s home in Otwock on Łukasińskiego Street during the war i.e. a 4-year-old Jasia Kotowicz, the daughter of Olena Kotowicz née Zybert, who was hiding in Warsaw at that time. Krysia’s older sister, Elizabeth, took care of Jasia. Olena with her husband and daughter survived the war. Her brother, Selim Zybert, Krystyna’s former high school friend, was hiding in Warsaw, but unfortunately did not survive the war.

In 1951 Krystyna Chłond married Mieczysław Dańko.

We publish this article courtesy of Zbigniew Nosowski, chairman of the Social Committee of the Jews of Otwock and Karczew

Other Stories of Rescue in the Area