The Chruszcz Family

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Story of Rescue - The Chruszcz Family

At the time of the outbreak of the War, Marta and Ignacy Chruszcz and their two children - a 9 year old son and 2 year old daughter - lived in the village of Las Kamionka, in the former Tarnopol Province. The nearest town was Skałat.

In June 1943, on their farm, the Chruszcz family hid Rudolf Żarkower, his wife Nina, as well as Hinda Kaczor. They were escapees from the Skałat ghetto which was in the process of liquidation.

The Germans established a ghetto in Skałat in the spring of 1942, but they commenced mass murders of the Jewish population almost as soon as they had occupied the town in the summer of 1941. In operations lasting from spring to late autumn in 1942, almost half of the Jews in the ghetto (approx. 4,500 people) were transported by the Germans to the Bełżec extermination camp.

Rudolf, Nina and Hinda avoided being transported and remained in the ghetto until June 1943 when the Germans set about its final liquidation. All three managed to get out of the walled area and began seeking shelter.

The Chruszczow's took them in and prepared a special hiding-place – in one of the rooms, they added a false ceiling, creating a hiding-place between it and the floor above it. The Jews remained in this hiding-place until March 1944 when the town was, once again, occupied by the Soviet army.

In 1955, Rudolf, Nina and Hinda emigrated to Israel, but remained in contact with the people who had saved them during the War.

Bibliography

  • Skałat - historia
  • Grynberg Michał, Księga Sprawiedliwych, Warszawa 1993

    The lexicon includes the stories of Poles honoured with the title of Righteous Among the Nations in the years 1963-1989. The list of entries is preceded by a preface by Icchak Arad and Chaim CheferThe Righteous of the World.