The Drynski Family

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Story of Rescue - The Drynski Family

During the Nazi occupation, Anna and Tadeusz Dryński lived with Romuald Spasowski, a son from Anna’s first marriage, in Willa Róża in Milanówek, near Warsaw. Around fourteen Jews found a hiding place in the Dryński home.

”During the entire period of the occupation, the home of the Dryński family at 17 Piasta street was always full of Jewish people. (…) With immense dedication and with no self-interest whatever, Mrs Dryńska gave shelter to the homeless and to those being hunted down. (…) She created a family atmosphere for them, under terrible circumstances”, recalls Stefania Beylin who, for a certain period during the occupation, lived in Milanówek.

Between March and June 1942, Romuald Spasowski, together with Bronisław Buras, built three hiding places for people who were waiting for false identity papers.The number of residents in their home had to correspond with the number of available beds. The biggest hiding place, designed to hold  ten people,was located under the floor of one of the rooms. It was supplied with electricity and ventilation. It was disguised by a table and a low ledge which hid the entrance. Romuald systematically covered the floor with napthalene so that, during a search, the dogs would become disorientated and would not discover the people hiding under the floor. The other two hiding places were in the attic and in the garden.

There were moments of danger. One day, Marysia Buras received a letter. Her husband was working with Tadeusz Dryński in a workshop. When he returned, he found his wife unconscious, lying on the floor. Someone had anonymously described how, one week earlier, the Germans had shot all the residents of a house in Wołomin where Marysia’s mother was hiding. It was meant to be a lesson for others who had decided to hide Jews. Following this event, Marysia fell into a deep depression. One day, she left the house without saying a word to anyone.

 Romuald, together with Marysa’s husband, Bronisław, decided to search for her. As they passed the railwayman’s house, they caught sight of Marysia through the window. She was being interrogated by two uniformed Germans. ”We need to take them by surprise. We’ll pretend to be Germans”, said Romuald, after which both men charged inside shouting ”Heil Hitler! Wo ist diese Judin?  (Where is this Jewess?)”. Romuald grabbed Marysia and quickly rushed her outside. As they quickly walked away, they could hear curses in German coming from behind them. The danger had passed.

All those who were hidden in Willa Róża survived the War, after which some emigrated overseas, while others remained in Poland. Anna Dryńska was honoured with the title of ”Righteous Among the Nations” on the 28th June 1984. 

Other Stories of Rescue in the Area

Bibliography

  • Archiwum Zydowskiego Instytutu Historycznego, 349 , 288
  • Gutman Israel red. nacz., Księga Sprawiedliwych wśród Narodów Świata, Ratujący Żydów podczas Holocaustu, Kraków 2009
  • Romuald Spasowski, The Liberation of One, San Diego - New York - London