The Broczek Family
Story of Rescue - The Broczek Family
Jadwiga and Franciszek Broczek lived in the village of Wygnanka, near Dubno in Wołyń (Ukraine). During the war, the Broczeks cared for ten-year-old Sonią, the daughter of Jews from nearby Werba. When German soldiers shot her parents, the girl fled the village. Leonard found her and led her to the Broczeks' home, where Sonia remained until the end of the war. Later, she was found by her aunt.
Jadwiga and Franciszek also helped Arie Pietrykowski, who reached Dubno in September 1939, fleeing from the Nazis. In the summer of 1941, after the town was occupied by the Germans, Arie ended up in the ghetto. He managed to get out of there during the course of liquidation activities in September 1942. Losing his way, he came upon Wygnanka and hid in the first unlocked barn that he found. That was the Broczeks' barn.
In the morning, Franciszek found him. To the surprise of the escapee, not only did he not chase him away, he fed him and decided to hide him. Likewise, other Jews ended up in the Broczeks' barn and found a hiding-place there. In a testimony to the Jewish Historical Institute, Pietrykowski remembers that, "Over the course of several days, six Jews were gathered into that barn. Then Franciszek Broczek dug a shelter in the basement and, there, we all stayed for eighteen months.” (Source: 'The Book of the Righteous", edited by Michał Grynberg, Warsaw, 1939).
When gossip made it dangerous for the Broczeks, their son Leonard and his wife Maria took in Arie and hid him until the end of the occupation. After the war, Pietrykowski emigrated to Israel. He maintained contact with Leonard by correspondence.
After the war it turned out that Broczeks' daughter Maria Kwarciak was also hiding Jews. Together with her husband Piotr and three sons they they gave shelter to a group of fifteen people.