The Barutowicz Family

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Story of Rescue - The Barutowicz Family

Before the war, Stefan Barutowicz lived with his daughter Zofia in Dobromyl (Lvov Province). He was a legionist and a retired officer of the Polish Army. His elder sister Karolina (Lola) lived in Grębów (Tarnobrzeg District, at that time in the Lvov Province), where she was a teacher and a head of the school for many years.

Barutowicz was a friend of the Lichtman family. Józef's father  – Samuel Lichtman –  ran a steam saw mill in Dobromyl, whilst his wife Matylda (nee Schternbach or Sternbach) studied law at the Jagiellonian University and was an attorney. They had a son Edward. At the beginning of the German occupation of the Borderlands, the Lichtman family wasin Lvov. Stefan Barutowicz helped them to obtain false documents. At the beginning of 1942, Matylda with her son was supposed to leave the ghetto and hide in the country. However, she was arrested, either in the street or, as her son says, in the house of her aunt to whom she came to say goodbye. Matylda's fate is unknown. There was noone to take care of Edward since his father had already hid himself. Stefan Barutowicz came to Lvov to take the child and moved with Zofia and Edward to Grębów, where Karolina lived.

As Zofia reported, it was the child's grandfather who asked Stefan for help for his daughter and grandson. "Remembering the request of his friend, the boy's grandfather," Stefan took care of the child.

In 1942, Edek came to live in Grębów and remained there until the liberation in August 1944. He was introduced as a family member. He was primarily cared for by Zofia, who was 18 at that time. "As the only young and healthy woman she had to do most of the chores, including the care for Edek's hygiene and clothes," she wrote in 1998. Zofia also attended an underground gymnasium in Stalowa Wola.

Zofia recollects a few dangerous moments, including the necessity to take Edward away from Grębów for some time. In turn, Edward recollects a moment of embarrassment when, seeing a Christmas tree in the neighbours' house, he said that he had never celebrated Christmas before.

After liberation, Józef, who survived the war in Lvov in a hiding place between walls, came for the child.

Zofia Barutowicz, in her report for the Jewish Historical Institute from 1998, underlines that the help which she and her closest ones provided was gratuitous: "There were no material or financial connections in this matter, the help was exclusively gratuitous, friendly and human."

Edward (Edmond, Ed) Lichtman went to Cracow with his father, and then to Paris and Belgium. After his father's death in 1951, he came to the USA, where his family took care of him. He studied engineering and established a family. Zofia looked for information about the boy's fate and found a trace of him in 1988, through his father's relatives in Israel and the USA. In 2008, Ed wrote memoirs entitled Holocaust and Beyond. My Memoirs. He met with young people, sharing his recollections from the time of World War II.

On 8th August 1999, the Yad Vashem Insitute awarded the title of the Righteous Among the Nations to Stefan Barutowicz, his sister Karolina and daughter Zofia Barutowicz-Worwa.

Bibliography

  • Archiwum Żydowskiego Instytutu Historycznego, 349, 2416