The Bogdaniuk Family

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Story of Rescue - The Bogdaniuk Family

The Bogdaniuks had lived in Włocławek before the war, where they had moved from the village of Sarnaki in the Łosice district. Stanisław Bogdaniuk had worked in Włocławek as a postman. After the German invasion of Poland, the family returned to their village of origin.

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. The father was left alone with five children.

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

“Our pleas that the father should not hide them did not help”, Zofia Czarkowska recalls. “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 prepared by their eldest sister, Stanisława, to the Jews. “They gave our father money for the rye, which he bought and then had it ground at the mill”, Zofia Czarkowska recounts. “They got as many kilograms of bread as there were kilograms of rye Ŗour… The remaining bread was given to my sister in return for the baking. These were two baking tins of bread: food for ourselves and for the parcels that we sent to the camp for our mother and brother”. Srul joined the communist “people’s police” (milicja)after the war. He was killed in a skirmish with partisans from the anti-communist underground fighting for an independent Poland. Meła Kapłan emigrated to Australia after the war. He died in the 1960s. Stanisław Bogdaniuk did not stay in touch with the survivor out of fear of corresponding with a person living abroad.