Kubacki Michal

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The story of Michał Kubacki

Father Michał Kubacki worked as a priest at the Basilica of the Holy Heart of Jesus in Warsaw. During the Nazi occupation he held the position of rector. He was also the director of the catholic aid organization, Caritas, which was located by the Basilica. One day, Halina Aszkenazy-Engelhard, came to him. She had escaped from a transport headed from the “Umschlagplatz” to Majdanek. Father Kubacki had known her mother, and had once promised that if they ever needed it, he would help them. The priest agreed to let her stay in the church. She was fed, and received a falsified baptism certificate. From that moment on she lived under the name Halina Ogonowska, an orphan from Płock. She was to say that she had known Father Kubacki for many years. She lived in the Caritas building, directly behind the church. 

Halina together with other women cooked meals for the local poverty- stricken people and for the children who attended the religious school at the church. Father Kubacki was always very caring and understanding with her. “Living in that community without getting to know the principles and practices of the religion would have been impossible”, recalls the young woman. “Every day I sat with the priest who taught me religion, the key principles of the faith, and prayers. He was a noble and honest man, who respected my roots and didn’t force me to do anything.” Once Halina was looking at photographs from the ghetto. She fell asleep over them. One of her friends saw that there was Yiddish writing on the backs of the photos. She complained about this to the priest. The mood became unbearable and Halina decided to leave the parish. After the war she moved to Israel. There, she wrote a memoir entitled “I Wanted to Live.”  

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Bibliography

  • Gutman Israel red. nacz., Księga Sprawiedliwych wśród Narodów Świata, Ratujący Żydów podczas Holocaustu, Kraków 2009
  • Aszkenazy- Engelhard Halina, Pragnęłam żyć, Warszawa 1991
  • Archiwum Żydowskiego Instytutu Historycznego, 349, 2329
  • Klara Jackl, 20.04.2013