Bułaszewski Stefan

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Story of Rescue - Bułaszewski Stefan

In 1943, Stefan Bułaszewski was 27 and he was an underground AK activist in Łomianki. While on a task for the underground, he met Maria Justman, aged 23, and Mala Korenschtein, her 18-year-old cousin, by chance. They had run away from the burning Warsaw ghetto and were hiding in the forest at the outskirts of Łomianki.

He knew Maria Justman very well from school and as the daughter of the owners of the building from whom he and his parents rented their apartment. Due to the fact that he had known Maria before the war, Stefan decided to help the girls.

Initially, he would bring them clothes and food to the forest. “They were hiding among thorny bushes and I brought them food there”, Stefan recalls. Then he placed them in an outbuilding owned by his parents. After a month, when the hiding place ceased to be safe, he started looking for a new place for them. Not wanting to arouse the interest of his neighbours and siblings, he decided against bringing them to his family house. Stefan himself covered all costs of living for the girls. They had themselves no means of sustenance.

Soon afterwards, Stefan rented a room in Dąbrowa, a neighbouring village. That room remained locked at all times and its windows were covered with black paper. No one found that suspicious – Stefan worked as a night watchman at a tannery in Łomianki and had to have some sleep after his work; moreover, the black covering of the windows was consistent with the order of the Germans to darken settlements in order to make air rides more difficult. He lived in that room with Maria. Mala refused to stay in an area where she could be recognised by her acquaintances so Stefan helped her find work with a farmer he knew near Siedlce.

Stefan and Maria stayed in Dąbrowa until November 1944 when all of the local populace was re-settled by the Germans due to the front line drawing near. They went to Laski where they stayed until the arrival of Soviets in January 1945. Mala also managed to survive the war. The farmer for whom she worked gave her the identity papers of his daughter and, thanks to this, she was able to leave for Germany and find work there under a Polish name of Janina Tyszkiewicz. The German host for whom she worked did not even suspect that she was Jewish.

 

Both Maria and Mala stayed in Poland after the war. Maria died in 1990. It was then that Mala decided to write a statement describing the help they received from Stefan – this started the process which ended in him being awarded the Righteous Among the Nations title in 1992 by the Yad Vashem Institute.

Other Stories of Rescue in the Area

Bibliography

  • Gutman Israel red. nacz., Księga Sprawiedliwych wśród Narodów Świata, Ratujący Żydów podczas Holocaustu, Kraków 2009
  • Archiwum Żydowskiego Instytutu Historycznego, Dział odznaczeń Yad Vashem. Dokumentacja sprawy Stefana Bułaszewskiego, 349/24/1597