The Chmiel Family

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Story of Rescue - The Chmiel Family

One Jewish family lived in the pre-War village of Zbydniów - the Zwikler family. They ran a general store. They were very well liked in the area. The outbreak of war and the German occupation disrupted the, until now, peaceful lives of the Zbydniów inhabitants. The Zwikler family were ordered to report to a collection point in Bochnia, from where they were meant to be transported to an extermination camp.

The Zwikler children, Herman and Regina, together with their brother, managed to escape from the transport wagon. Herman and Regina, following an agreed plan made previously between the families, made their way to Chmiel family. From the spring of 1940, they hid there for two years. The hiding-place was a small room behind the larder. The Chmiel children also knew about this secretive help - the toddlers Zosia and Helena, as well as seven year old Marian.

After two years, it became necessary to change hiding-places. Kazimierz Chmiel arranged a hiding-place with neighbours for the two young Jews.

After the War, Herman and Regina moved to Kraków, maintaining contact with their saviours. In the mid 1950’s, they emigrated to Canada.

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