Bończa-Tomaszewski Stanisław

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Story of Rescue - Bończa-Tomaszewski Stanisław

During the Second World War Stanisław Bończa-Tomaszewski helped many Jews. He used to lead them out of the ghetto and to get them false documents which enabled many of them to survive the Nazi occupation. To this day it is uncertain how many people owe him their lives. Among those he helped were Janina Plucer-Sarna, her daughter Miriam, her brother Henryk and her father Tadeusz.

In 1944 someone informed the Germans that Bończa-Tomaszewski was hiding Jews in his apartment in the Praga district in Warsaw. He had to escape, but earlier he managed to find a hiding place for Tadeusz Plucer-Sarna: he was sheltered by the Iwaszkiewicz family and stayed at their house as a music teacher. The hiding of Tadeusz was not an easy task, because he was well-known before the war: he was a philanthropist, chairman of the CENTOS (Central Office of the Society for Orphans and Abandoned Children Care), opera singer and industrialist.

Bończa-Tomaszewski, Janina Plucer-Sarna and her daughter Miriam were sheltered by the Gracjasz family from Babica near Kalwaria Zebrzydowska. Janina was using the papers of Ewa Skorupko – a painter who was killed in Warsaw in 1943. Stanisław also managed to obtain documents testifying that Janina was his wife. Unfortunately, the woman was recognized in Kalwaria by her friend from the university. As there was a risk the friend could denounce her, they had to leave their hiding place. Miriam stayed in Babica with the Gracjasz family and her mother together with Bończa-Tomaszewski escaped to Nowy Targ, where they had been hiding until the end of the war.

Bończa-Tomaszewski was posthumously honored with the title “Righteous Among the Nations” on the initiative of Miriam Sarna. In her letter addressed to the Yad Vashem Institute she wrote: “(…) I feel obliged to thank him for the fact that I am alive, that my family had the opportunity to survive the war and die from natural causes. Stanisław Bończa-Tomaszewski was a big-hearted, modest and extremely courageous man”.

Other Stories of Rescue in the Area

Bibliography

  • Archiwum Yad Vashem
    A letter to YV written by Miriam Sarny
  • Ambasada Izraela, Materiały opracowane w związku z uroczystością wręczenia medalu i dyplomu honorowego "Sprawiedliwy wśród Narodów Świata" 22.10.2010 r., Warszawa