Cichocka Stefania

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Story of Rescue - Cichocka Stefania

Stefania Seniow, a resident of Lviv, was attending the Juliusz Słowacki middle school before the Second World War. She had there “a lot of Jewish friends”. One of them was Rut Schaff,  a daughter of a wealthy lawyer.

In September 1939 Lviv was taken over by Russians troops and in July 1942 by the Germans. They immediately began repressing Jews and soon established a ghetto. Stefania, recruited by a teacher, Zofia Kotulanka, joined the resistance (Home Army). One of her tasks was to provide people in the ghetto with the vaccines against typhoid fever. While in the Home Army she had met Roman Cichocki. They married. The identity card in her maiden name Stefania left to Rut Schaff. This “Aryan” card had saved her life during the war – writes Rut in her memoires.

In the autumn of 1942 the Cichockis, in fear of the round-ups, moved to an estate near Oleszyce, 120 km west of Lviv, where they found work. Their son, Andrzej, was born there. In the spring of 1943 they gave shelter for about three months to three Jewish women: Halina Weitmann, her mother and sister. Halina was one of Stefania’s school friends. They were hiding using false identity documents.

Stefania Cichocka describes: “It was a very early morning when Halina came by. ‘You know, we have no place to go,’ she said when they turned up so early. She, her mother and sister. And my Roman said: ‘It’s clear, they will stay with us’”.

Soon, German troops came to be stationed in the estate and the employees had to leave. The Cichockis and Halina and her family went their separate ways. The Cichockis had moved first to Oleszyce and later to their relatives in Rogoźnica where they stayed until the end of the war.

In 1946 they moved to Warsaw where Stefania accidentally met Rut, or rather Stefania Seniow as she had kept Cichocka’s maiden name which she had used during the war. In 1956 she emigrated to Austria, but until Cichocka passed away, she had stayed in touch with her.

Halina, her mother and sister survived the war.