The Brogowski Family

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Story of Rescue - The Brogowski Family

Maria Jurczak was born in 1934. She is the daughter of Cecylia and Maciej Brogowski.

Maria recounts that, one day her aunt Ksawera Brogowska, contacted them. After this conversation, she showed up, bringing the six-year-old Irena Sznycer with her. Irena was baptized and her presence in the house was not a secret. She was treated as a part of the family, working in the fields and sleeping with Maria.

The Brogowski family lived in Bełżec, so they witnessed Jews being transported to the camp and they could also see the column of smoke over the camp. This was the smoke of the thousands of bodies cremated by the Nazis. They also saw Jews escaping. One of the escapees found temporary shelter at some local family’s house, but the Gestapo found her and killed her very soon after.

After the war, Irena left Poland and she lost contact with the family who saved her. Maria kept looking for her for years. Finally her son Marek managed to find her, and two years ago, Irena and her daughters visited Maria in Bełżec.

At the beginning of 2008, Maria received the medal “The Righteous Among the Nations” on behalf of her parents.

The relation was recorded in the framework of the project "Lights In The Darkness - The Righteous Among The Nations", courtesy of the "Ośrodek Brama Grodzka - Teatr NN" in Lublin



  • Dąbrowska Anna red., Światła w ciemności. Sprawiedliwi wśród Narodów Świata. Relacje, Lublin 2008
  • Kawa Magdalena, Interview with Maria Jurczak, a daughter of Cecylia and Maciej Brogowscy, 30.01.2008