The Artymiak Family

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Story of Rescue - The Artymiak Family

“My parents would give me a basket, and I walked through the fields for  2-3 kilometers, scared, crying. I had to take it, because dad ordered me to. I stopped by the fence. ‘Mom, mom’ I shouted, and Dora would come. Rab was there with her, one of the wealthiest Jews in Wojsławice. He was an older man, over forty” - she recalls.

Dora was about twenty years old. She was the daughter of the Rabbi from Włodawa. “In the beginning she hid with Choma, who was also from Kukawka, but she had to leave them.”

Dad came across Dora while he was grazing cows.  He heard ‘oh, oh’, and thought it was an animal, but then he saw a little pile covered with a blanket. It was raining. He asked: ‘Why are you wailing?’ She said that she was hungry, cold, that her teeth hurt, and that she didn’t care anymore about living. ‘You can kill me, sir’ - she said.” He had a piece of bread in his pocket, gave it to her, and came back for her in the evening with mother. Mom heated water for a bath, scrubbed her, gave her clothes, burned the old ones because they were infested with bugs, and fed her chicken soup. “We called her Zośka - she says - as a cover.”

First they kept her in the barn, but when the Germans began their manhunts searching for partisans, they were afraid that the whole village would be burned because of them. So they dug her a shelter in the woods. The entrance was covered with moss and branches, and at the bottom there was hay and a blanket. There, Rab and the girl awaited liberation. 

“I was with them that day, July 22, 1944 - she recalls. - Oh, how happy we all were”.

Soon afterwards Rab died of diabetes, and Dora left for Israel.

Bibliography

  • Witkowska Agnieszka, Interview with Eugenia Złotko, 14.07.2008
  • Gutman Israel red. nacz., Księga Sprawiedliwych wśród Narodów Świata, Ratujący Żydów podczas Holocaustu, Kraków 2009