Domanus Adela

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Story of Rescue - Domanus Adela

Adela Domanus lived with her family in Warsaw at ul. Polna 14 She helped many Jews during the Nazi occupation, including both ones she knew and strangers. Her help was completely selfless and she herself supported those in the greatest need financially. Due to the fact that it was impossible for her to hide people for long at her own place, she mostly occupied herself with finding hiding places for them and with handling matters related to getting forged documents for them. She acted out of humanitarian considerations when helping others. “My heart bled for all the sympathy and sorrow I felt...”, she wrote years later. Stefania Adler, her son’s girlfriend, was one of the first people whom she helped. The boy managed to get her out of the ghetto close to the beginning of 1941 and, after he managed to obtain forged documents for her, he married her. Adela then hid Helena, Stefania’s mother.

Klara Szapiro and her daughter Nina, aged seven, were the next people Adela helped. They were brought to her in the winter of 1942 by the wife of Makary Sieradzki whom Adela knew for her involvement with the underground. Adela quickly found “legal” documents for them, as well as a place to stay in for some time. Klara was placed in the Saska Kępa district under an assumed name of Helena Kowalska and her daughter, under the name of Janka Kowalska, Adela kept at her place. Due to the constant risk of denunciation and blackmail attempts, she had to find new places for her charges to stay in all the time. In the end, she managed to find shelter for Klara with Adela Sochańska who had been classified by the Germans as Reichsdeutsch – a person of decent German descent who was, from their point of view, trustworthy. She found a place for Inka at a Holy Family convent at ul. Żytnia. For some time, Adela maintained contact with Klara’s husband and Inka’s father – Józef Szapiro, a doctor in the Kraśnik ghetto.

During the Warsaw Uprising, she looked after lawyer K. Metta and his wife. After the uprising, they were transported to Sędziszów. Mister Metta decided to stay there while Adela brought his wife to her sister’s place and helped the husband and wife stay in contact with each other.

Jadwiga Maczko, a co-conspirator of Adela, also owed her salvation to Adela to a considerable extent. It was Adela who provided her with forged documents issued for Leokadia Sopyła. When the owner of documents reappeared, they had to be returned to her and Adela found another set of documents for Jadwiga, this time issued for Jadwiga Aniołkowa.

Adela Domanus stayed in contact with Klara and Nina Szapiro after the war. The Yad Vashem Institute awarded her with the Righteous Among the Nations title in 1989.

Other Stories of Rescue in the Area

Bibliography

  • Bartoszewski Władysław, Lewinówna Zofia, Ten jest z ojczyzny mojej, Warszawa 2007
    This publication consists of 3 parts: monographic outline of the issue of aid given to the Jews; collection of German and Polish documents concerning the histories of Jews and the aid given to them; collection of the post-war reports created by Poles and Jews about the aid.
  • 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.

  • Gutman Israel red. nacz., Księga Sprawiedliwych wśród Narodów Świata, Ratujący Żydów podczas Holocaustu, Kraków 2009
  • Archiwum Żydowskiego Instytutu Historycznego, Dział odznaczeń Yad Vashem. Dokumentacja sprawy Adeli Domanus, 349/24/2035