The Bulik Family

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Story of Rescue - The Bulik Family

“I got Tolek from a train conductor”, she says.

She was travelling from Wesoła to Warsaw to attend dance and English classes. The conductor showed her a boy carrying a small parcel.

“He has already traveled to Mińsk and back three times”, said the man. The boy was lovely, nicely dressed with blonde curls, resolute and smiling. He watched over his parcel. She held his hand, brought him home and told her parents that he would be her son. At the time, she was seventeen.

Inside the parcel there was a note saying that the three-year-old boy’s name was Tolek Wajnsztajn. There was a plea to take care of him and also some clothes - sweaters, suspender trousers, nice things. A friendly policeman, Heniek Bukiniec, came and inspected the boy.

“He is circumcised,” stated the man. The father, a baker, was terrified - this child would put the entire family at risk.

They owned a big house with a bakery on the outskirts of Wesoła. Heniek would warn them about impending raids and manhunts. In such instances, they would take Tolek away to to friends. After the War, some soldier in a jeep roamed the countryside in search of Jewish children. Somebody reported that one was at their home. A Jewish couple who had lost their own children decided to adopt Tolek.

“This is how it was”, says Wanda. “Neither father nor mother wanted to give him away. The kid was crying. The couple promised to take him to France and educate him there. They had been struggling with us over a few months. Finally, father gave up. ‘Tolek is very clever’, he said. ‘We should not stand in his way for here so that he can become, at best, a baker. Let him go.’”

Two months later, a postcard came from France informing us that they would go somewhere further away. They did not write to where. Tolek’s name and surname were changed, so that Wanda could not locate him. From a TV program, she discovered that he lived in Israel. He was looking for Wanda, the TV showed his photo.

“He came, grey-haired and tall as a candle, I could barely reach his shoulder. He brought such a big bouquet, I thought he would strangle me in the hall. My God, what a greeting it was.”

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Bibliography

  • Tatar Anna, Interview with Józefa Bulik, 1.05.2008
  • Gutman Israel red. nacz., Księga Sprawiedliwych wśród Narodów Świata, Ratujący Żydów podczas Holocaustu, Kraków 2009