The Balicki Family

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Story of Rescue - The Balicki Family

Jadwiga and Zygmunt Balicki, together with their daughter Helena, lived at 8 Dożynkowa Street in Warsaw. For three generations, the family had been involved in the socialist movement.

There were Jews amongst their many friends and, during the German occupation, they hid several of them. Amongst those who hid with the Balicki's were Jadwiga Groslik, Matylda Wertenstein, Ludwika Chodak and Sala Silberholc. Only Jadwiga did not survive the occupation.

Hanka Szapiro (pseudonum "Hanka Sawicka")  regularly spent the night at Dożynska Street, where she would meet up with her father, Bernard. When, in August 1942, Bernard contracted typhus, Hanka nursed him together with Dr. Kazimierz Zweibaum. When he died, the Balicki's buried him under the name "Bolesław Sadowski".

Ola Zweibaum, a schoolfriend of Helena's, would come to the Balicki's from time to time. Over several days, Jadwiga and Jan also his the three-member Dyszk family from Grodna, as well as someone only known as Jan.

It is not unimportant that all these people had a "good" appearance and were completely assimilated.

In May 1943, Sara Biderman (a member of ŻOB - the Jewish Fighting Organisation) found shelter with the Balicki family. She had escaped from the ghetto through the sewers. Sara's appearance betrayed her heritage and she could not come to terms with the rules of the underground. In the Balicki's apartment, she met up with members of ŻOB which was extremely dangerous for all concerned. After a few weeks, Sara moved to one of the organisation's secret locations. Shortly after that, there was a slip-up and military police turned up at the ŻOB apartment. Sara managed to escape, but was severely wounded. She managed to get to the Balicki's, who arranged for her to be admitted into the hospital in Płock Street. There, she underwent major surgery.

In the second half of 1943, the Gestapo arrested Zygmunt Balicki. He ended up being imprisoned in Szuch, then in Pawiak and, finally, in the Auschwitz concentration camp. He survived. Sara also survived and later emigrated to Israel.

 

 

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Bibliography

  • Grynberg Michał, Księga Sprawiedliwych, Warszawa 1993

    The lexicon includes the stories of Poles honoured with the title of Righteous Among the Nations in the years 1963-1989. The list of entries is preceded by a preface by Icchak Arad and Chaim CheferThe Righteous of the World.