Czajowska Franciszka

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Story of Rescue - Czajowska Franciszka

Before the war, Daniel Wajnryb lived in Cracow with his wife Helena and daughter Karolina, where he ran a hairdresser shop at 7 Asnyka Street. One of his employees was Franciszka Czajowska. Karolina Kościółek nee Wajnryb recollected after the war: “My father was the owner of the hairdresser shop on Asnyka Street, whilst Czajowska Franciszka was its manager”.

On 6 September 1939, Cracow was captured by Germans. During the occupation, they continued introducing legal regulations concerning Jews. One of them was the obligation to hand over the owned and kept firms and establishments to the so-called “trust”.Daniel Warnryb was forced to give up the hairdresser shop, but, in order to prevent it from falling into strange hands, he gave it to Franciszka Czajowska.

In March 1941, a ghetto was established in Cracow in the district of Podgórze.The Wajnryb family decided not to move to the so-called Jewish district. As they could not stay in the city legally, Czajowska arranged shelter for them in the hairdresser shop. She also provided them with food and clothing. She did not get any money or other benefits in return for her help. In time, for safety reasons, the shelter for Helena Wajnryb was found in the village of Zakrzów near Cracow.

Czajkowska also helped Doctor Roman Glassner and his daughter Stanisława, who lived in the Cracow ghetto.In order to get into the closed district, she put on a band with the Star of David and joined a group of workers returning to the ghetto after work. In that manner, she smuggled, among others, food, clothes and letters. Shortly before the liquidation of the ghetto, Glassner was sent to the camp Julag III in Bieżanów and then to the Hasag factory in Skarżysko-Kamienna, where he died. His daughter survived the war, got married and assumed the name Skimina. She left to West Germany with her husband.

In December 1943, as a result of denunciation, Germans were informed about the hiding place in the hairdresser shop.Franciszka Czajowska was arrested and, after interrogations and tortures on Pomorska Street and in prison on Montelupich Street, she was sent to FKL Ravensbrück. Daniel Wajnryb was executed in prison on Montelupich Street. Karolina avoided death because she was with her mother at that time. Both women survived the war.

In the German camp of Ravensbrück, Franciszka Czajowska had the number 44-904.She recollected after the occupation: “I worked in an ammunition factory, which was a traumatic experience for me. I have injuries after being battered by a German woman, my nose is broken. I also have leg injuries after being bitten by a dog set on me by the Aufseherin. I am a handicapped person now, I walk with crutches.”

After the war, Czajowska kept in touch with Karolina Wajnryb, who got married and assumed the name Kościółek.

Bibliography

  • Pankiewicz Tadeusz, Apteka w getcie krakowskim, Kraków 2003
    The author, Pole, was the owner of the pharmacy in the ghetto; he helped many Jews.
  • Gutman Israel red. nacz., Księga Sprawiedliwych wśród Narodów Świata, Ratujący Żydów podczas Holocaustu, Kraków 2009
  • Chwalba Andrzej, Kraków w latach 1939-1945, Kraków 2002
  • Biberstein A., Zagłada Żydów w Krakowie, Kraków 2001