The Gawrych Family

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The story of the Gawrych family

"It was the evening of March 18, 1943. We were living in the woods in Wólka Czarnińska near Mińsk Mazowiecki. Father was a forest ranger. They surrounded us. The Germans and those working under cover.

For a long time Abram Słomka hid at our home, he taught me and my brother how to play the violin. And also Frania Aroson, the sixteen-year-old daughter of a saddler from Stanisławowo. That evening there were also Teresa Zylberberg and her husband Chaskiel Papier. They were hiding in the barn in a field by the forest.

Farnia, Abram, Teresa and her husband immediately began running. Teresa turned back, to get her jacket. They shot her. She fell over and then they shot her in the head. She was pregnant.   

One of the military police broke a window and looked in. They entered. They had skulls on their caps. One of them grabbed my hand, I thought that they were going to take me out to shoot me.  But he only asked who had been there. Jews – I answered – they came saying that they were hungry, and mother wanted to feed them. He let me go. He said to my mother: ‘Save what you can, we’re burning it.’

I ran out into the yard.

They brought out my father, threw him face down to the ground and beat him.

Mom grabbed Niutek from his bed. She tossed him out with his blanket and yelled: ‘Watch him,’ and went back inside to get something from the house. They didn’t let her. A German ran in after her and yelled ‘weg’ and gave her a black eye with his gun.

Mother yelled: ‘Run to the Gańek family.’

She was afraid that they were going to shoot. She turned around. The house was already swallowed by flames.

My father was shot a few days later."

A woman from the village had reported to the authorities. After the war we went to see her. "How you’ve all grown" – she said surprised. And when we told her we knew, she said: "Do what you wish".

"And what were we supposed to do?" – asks Jadwiga. – "Kill her?"

Other Stories of Rescue in the Area


  • Archiwum Żydowskiego Instytutu Historycznego, 349, 2459
  • Majewska Justyna, Interview with Jadwiga Gawrych, 1.06.2008
  • Gutman Israel red. nacz., Księga Sprawiedliwych wśród Narodów Świata, Ratujący Żydów podczas Holocaustu