The Bogdaniuk Family

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Story of Rescue - the Bogdaniuk Family

Before the War, the Bogdaniuk family lived in Włocławek, to where they had moved from the village of Sarnaki in the Łosice district. Stanisław Bogdaniuk worked in Włocławek as a postman. After the German invasion of Poland, the family returned to their family home village.

In February 1941, the Germans arrested Stanisław Bogdaniuk’s wife and their eldest son. Both were kept in concentration camps in Germany until the end of the War. Stanisław was left alone with five children.

Following the liquidation of the ghetto in the nearby town of Łosice, from the end of August 1942 until July 1944, the Bogdaniuk family hid Srul Szulmajster and Meła Kapłan, both of whom came from Sarnaki, . They prepared a hiding place for them in a wood stock in their barn.

“Our pleas that out father should not hide them did not help”, Zofia Czarkowska recalled. “He always had our mother and brother on his mind, who were imprisoned in the camps. He always said, ‘If you help somebody, then perhaps somebody else will help your mother and brother, too'”.

Zofia and Irena brought food to the Jews, which had been prepared by their eldest sister, Stanisława. "Twice a week she [baked] seven loaves [of bread], for which Jews hiding in the forest came", says Zofia Czarkowska. "They gave my father money for rye, which he bought and ground in the mill. They received as many kilograms of bread as the yield of rye flour. […] the toasted bread was left to the sister for work. There were two trays of it, which was food for us and for a parcel to the camp for my mother and brother."
 
Czarkowska recalls her relationship with those in hiding.  "They often talked to me, asked me questions and chatted. When it was quiet and there were no strangers were around, he and Srul walked freely around the barn. My father watched over their safety."
 
After the war, Srul joined the militia. He died in a skirmish with partisans of the independence underground. After the war, Meła Kaplan went to Australia and died in the 1960s.
 
Stanisław Bogdaniuk did not maintain contact with the survivor for fear of corresponding with someone from abroad.