The Duszczak family

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Story of Rescue - The Duszczak family

Before the war broke out, Abraham (Abram) and Maria Einleger lived in Trembowla. They had two sons - Józef and Fryderyk. Józef ran the local chemist’s. During the bloody killing of the Jews of Trembowla carried out at the nearby village of Plebanówka on 7 April 1943, Abraham and Maria Einleger managed to escape and hide at the farmstead of Dymitr and Maria Duszczak who agreed to harbour them. They were joined by Józef and his wife Augustyna in June 1943. Two months later, Fryderyk joined the family, having been forced out of his previous hiding place.

The Duszczak family looked after their five secret guests and prepared hiding places for them – in the stable and in the forest surrounding their house. Even though the Einlegers tried to pay for their upkeep, hiding five people was still quite a strain for the Duszczaks in financial terms.

After the arrival of Soviet troops in March 1944, the Einlegers left their hiding place at night. The Duszczaks were repatriated to Poland and they settled in Kłodzko while the Einlegers settled in Wrocław, then moved to Bytom and eventually went to Israel. Both families maintained contact by mail.

In their statement made in Tel Aviv in 1966, Józef and Augustyna Einleger-Kozak emphasised the services of the Duszczaks: “It was only thanks to their efforts and their help and the fact that they risked their lives for us that we survived that terrible period when Jews were being hunted down. [...] Throughout our stay with them, the Duszczaks treated us kindly and humanely”.

The Yad Vashem Institute awarded Dymitr and Maria Duszczak the Righteous Among the Nations title in 1986.

Bibliography

  • Archiwum Żydowskiego Instytutu Historycznego, Rejestr ocalałych Żydów, Centralny Komitet Żydów w Polsce
  • Gutman Israel red. nacz., Księga Sprawiedliwych wśród Narodów Świata, Ratujący Żydów podczas Holocaustu, Kraków 2009