The Domanski Family

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The story of the Domański family

Before the War, Władysława and Stanisław Domański lived, with their children Jerzy and Krystyna, in Falenice near Warsaw. Stanisław was a pastrycook. Władysława looked after their home.

When, at the beginning of the War, Stanisław was arrested by the Germans and became severly ill, it fell to Władysława to support the family. Without the permission of the occupation authorities, she opened a bakery in nearby Michalina.

In an interview for POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews, her daughter, Krystyna Kowalska, recalls, "Most often, she would work at night. That was when she would bake the bread. She would leave home in the evening and would return in the morning, after she had sold what she had baked".

In the spring of 1942, Sabina Oberländer appeared at the Domańskis' bakery, asking about the possibility of finding shelter for her family, which had escaped persecution in Zakopane. That family consisted of her sisters, Amalia and Irena, as well as their mother Rozalia. They all had false papers in the names of Maria Sobczak and Anna, Irena and Karolina Drabot. Krystyna, eleven years old at the time, remembers, "Four people came to us. Mum told us, 'They'll live here with us. If anyone asks, they are our cousins'". 

Both families become firm friends. Thanks to Władysława's help, Amalia went to school with Krystyną and, because of their "good appearance", Irena and Sabina helped with the selling of the bread. "At the beginning, they were scared. They would sit in a closed room but, in time, they gathered their courage and came out.” Rozalia became ill and remained at home. "Mum said that she could work at home, sewing on buttons and darning".

Rozalia and her daughters lived in Falenice until 1947, at which time they returned to Zakopane. They remained friendly with the Domański family for many years and, until Sabina died in 1985, the women would spend each vacation in Falenice.

In a statement, written in 1993, to the Yad Vashem Institute in Jerusalem, Anna Maria Żak (nee Oberländer) wrote that the Domański family "had provided them with shelter and food, for which they took no remuneration from us. Their fundamental basis for helping us was human goodness and an understanding of our situation as Jews. The Domański family treated us as one of their own".

On 13th December 1994, Stanisław, Władysława, Jerzy and Krystyna Domański were all honoured with the title of Righteous Among the Nations.

Other Stories of Rescue in the Area

Bibliography

  • Andrzejewska Monika, Interview with Krystyna Kowalska, 2.05.2009
  • Archiwum Żydowskiego Instytutu Historycznego, 349, 1914
  • Gutman Israel red. nacz., Księga Sprawiedliwych wśród Narodów Świata, Ratujący Żydów podczas Holocaustu, Kraków 2009
  • Grynberg Michał, Księga Sprawiedliwych, Warszawa 1993

    The lexicon includes the stories of Poles honoured with the title of Righteous Among the Nations in the years 1963-1989. The list of entries is preceded by a preface by Icchak Arad and Chaim CheferThe Righteous of the World.