The Babiarz Family

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Story of Rescue - The Babiarz Family

The majority of the family of the 14-year-old Chanan Lipszyc was murdered in the extermination camp in Bełżec as a result of the deportations from Izbica, where a transit ghetto existed near the route from Lublin to Zamość since March 1942. Chanan’s older brother was the last one to be killed – he was shot at the local Jewish cemetery on November 2nd, 1942. On the same day, during the liquidation of the ghetto, Chanan managed to escape from the local cinema, where Jews caught during the “action” were detained.

He found shelter on the farm of the local miller who used to supply the Lipszyc family with flour. The wife of the farmer, Kazimiera Babiarz and their daughter Halina took him in.

“He escaped from the cinema. From the cinema. Dirty, frozen, stinking. After all, people used to relieve themselves there. It was really dirty out there. He rushed in. Luckily, my father was in the mill, because he would’ve had a heart attack if he saw him. Mom found some coats and some other things like that. She says: »Wash yourself, quickly! Quickly, while he’s not here!«” – recalls Halina Błaszczyk in her interview for the Museum of the History of Polish Jews.

The women, keeping it secret from the head of the family and from the younger daughter of the Babiarzs – were hiding the boy all through the winter. He stayed in the cellar where potatoes were kept. In the spring, they moved him to a hiding place in the back of the house. However, the Gestapo soon searched the farm, probably as a result of a denunciation. Chanan managed to escape one more time. Until the end of the Second World War he was hiding in outbuildings in nearby villages and in the forest, among partisans.

A few years after the war Chanan Lipszyc emigrated to Israel where – after doing military service – he started running a shop dealing in fashion accessories. For the whole time he remained in close contact with Halina. In 1985 they met in Israel during the ceremony of honoring her and her mother with the title “Righteous Among the Nations”.

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Bibliography

  • Kuwałek Robert, Litwin Weronika, Izbica. Opowieść o miejscu, Warszawa
  • Blatt, T., Ucieczka z Sobiboru, Warszawa 2010
  • Krzysztof Banach, Interview with Halina Błaszczyk, 28.09.2010
  • Gutman Israel red. nacz., Księga Sprawiedliwych wśród Narodów Świata, Ratujący Żydów podczas Holocaustu, Kraków 2009