The Bartczak Family

enlarge map

Story of Rescue - The Bartczak Family

Helena and Marian Bartczak lived in Gdynia before the War. He was a confectionery merchant. Displaced from Gdynia upon the entry of the German army, they reached Warsaw where they lived at  29 Wilcza Street.

In 1940, a pre-War friend from Gdynia, lawyer Marek Kleiner, came to the Bartczak's home. He had escaped from a prisoner-of-war camp in the Reich. Marian created false papers for him, rented him an apartment and helped him financially.

At the end of 1941, both men travelled to Lwów to find Kleiner's family in that city's ghetto. Once there, Marian recognized the Jewish couple, Irena and Pejsach Dienstag. At that time, Irena was a housekeeper for two German officers who had taken over her apartment. For the time being, the Dienstag's were safe, but Marian promised that, should any problems arise, he was ready to help them.

Indeed, shortly after, the couple were forced to leave their apartment. Pesach ended up in the Janów camp, while Irena, for a time, hid herself with a Ukrainian friend, Stefan Stećkow.

When, in March 1942m deportations and mass executions began happening in the Lwów ghetto, Irena contacted Marian. Bartczak came for her, took her to Warsaw and obtained false identity papers for her. As a carer for two children of the Zaleski family, Irena lived in the Bartczak home and stayed with them until the outbreak of the Warsaw Uprising in August 1944.

Marian also helped other Jews, among whom were Rozunow, a Lwów jeweller, and 12 year old Lusia from Lwów, a relative of Kleiner. 

Irena, who after the Uprising, ended up in the transit camp in Pruszkow, managed to escape from there and remained in Podkowa Leśna until the end of the War. In a testimony, written for the Jewish Historical Institute, she stressed that, during the time she was hiding with the Bartczak family, despite the difficult situation, she could always count on Marian's courage and care.

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.