The Nowinski Family

enlarge map


7 audios

Story of Rescue - The Nowinski Family

Before the World War II Wacław Nowiński was a policeman and simultaneously he ran a swimming pool by the Vistula River. His wife  Janina was a housewife. During the World War Two the family lived in Warsaw, at 39 Targowa Street,  Wacław worked as a ‘blue policeman’ in those days.

Their son, also Wacław, says: „As my father wore an uniform, he was allowed to enter the ghetto. And he took Jews out of the ghetto. He took out old acquaintances. Not always of course, as Nazis would not let him. But some of them let him pass if properly bribed”. Wacław Nowiński smuggled food to the ghetto and organized ‘Aryan papers’ for those who managed to escape. He knew many of the people he rescued from the swimming school.

The saved Jews stayed at the Nowińskis’ place for a short time, then the hosts found them other refuges. Nowiński hid two doctors, Berłowicz and Rapapport in the swimming pool building from spring to the beginning of winter 1943.

Wacław helped Aleksander Bronowski by bribing the policeman who planned to denounce him at the Gestapo. He did not ask for anything in exchange. After the war the rescued man wrote: „I would not feel fair to my conscience if I was silent about the noble deeds of that modest man”.

Janina Pańska  and the six-year-old Gabryś Munwes who remained under her care hid in the apartment of the Nowiński family for  a longer period. The both spent almost two years in Targowa Street. The neighbors were convinced that the woman is the hosts cousin, and they probably did not even know about the boy who went out of the house very rarely and after dark.

At least eight people rescued by the Nowiński family survived the war. Only the Berłowicz  family remained in Poland. 

Other Stories of Rescue in the Area



  • The last eyewitnesses: children of the Holocaust speak
  • Kuzko Katarzyna, Interview with Wacław Zbysław Nowiński, 18.02.2009
  • Archiwum Żydowskiego Instytutu Historycznego, 301, 5910
  • Gutman Israel red. nacz., Księga Sprawiedliwych wśród Narodów Świata, Ratujący Żydów podczas Holocaustu