The Chucherko Family

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Story of Rescue - The Chucherko Family

Before the War, the five-member Chucherko family leased a small farm in Nowa Góra, not far from Kraków. In his youth, Stefan Chucherko became friends with his Jewish neighbour, Bernard Feiler. When, years later, Bernard married Bela (nee Klinger) who ran a grocery store, the Chucherko family would buy their bread there.

War broke out and the Germans concentrated the Jews into a ghetto in Skala. Many of those who escaped from there found their way to buildings, 10 kilometres away, belonging to the Chucherko family.

“At that time, guests were grouped into other rooms so that we could welcome them and, at least, chat with them”, recalls Leopold Chucherko in an interview for the Museum of the History of Polish Jews.

Probably, in the summer or autumn of 1942, the Feller family escaped from a transport on the way to Pilica. According to another story, they escaped from Pilica during a deportation operation. Bernard arrived first. He asked for overnight accommodation for himself and his wife. One night turned into a 26-month period of concealment. Shortly thereafter, Bernard’s brother, Chaim, joined them, together with his wife (Sala) and Sala’s brother, Icchak Szaja. Chaim had escaped from a transport heading for Oświęcim (Auschwitz). For a certain time, he had worked as a Pole  in a German office in Kraków. With the help of Eugeniusz Chucherko, he managed to get his own wife out of the Płaszów camp. At that time, the couple were hidden in the Chucherko’s larder. 

On 22nd June 1944, in hiding, Bela Feiler gave birth to a son, Jacek. The crying infant posed an immense danger to all those in the house. One night, the Chucherko family took the boy to the home of their neighbours, the Noworyt family. The childless couple took care of him and, in 1945, the child was returned to his parents.

One month prior to the entry of the Soviet Army, Icchak Szaja died as the result of an old wound infection.He was buried under the floor of the larder. After the War, his body was moved to the cemetery in Trzebina. 

Bibliography

  • Kurek Agata, Interview with Leopold Chucherko, 23.04.2009
  • Archiwum Yad Vashem