Dziankowska Maria and Bizior-Horysławska Józefa

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Story of Rescue - Dziankowska Maria and Bizior-Horysławska Józefa

Before the war broke out, Emanuel (1901–1942) and Zofia Kohn lived in Stanisławów with their daughter Irena. Emanuel – an electrical engineer by profession – worked at the city’s power plant. They were friends with Maria Dziankowska. When the Kohns were forced to move into the ghetto, Maria started helping them and other Jewish friends of theirs. She also smuggled in food and medicines for them.

Three weeks before the liquidation of the Stanisławów ghetto, on 1 February 1943, Maria helped Zofia and her daughter escape from the ghetto. Emanuel Kohn was killed a year before that. Initially, Dziankowska hid Zofia and Irena at her place and helped them to get “Aryan papers”. After that, Zofia and her daughter moved in to live with Józefa Bizior, a friend of Maria, in Bukaczowce.

Maria also helped Zofia’s parents, Leon (1875–1942) and Estera Riwka (1875–1942) Breuer in the Kołomyja ghetto. She also provided the Rohatyn ghetto with vast quantities of medicines - they were distributed around by Saul Breuer (1902–1944), Zofia’s brother who worked as a high school teacher.

After spending several months in Bukaczowce, Zofia went to Austria to work there. Józefa looked after her daughter. After the war was over, Zofia came back for Irena. At first, they lived in the part of Austria under American occupation. Dziankowska had moved to Warsaw in the meantime. In the September of 1947, Zofia Kohn submitted a statement to the Central Jewish Committee in Linz in which she told about the help provided to her by Maria who “risked her own life”. According to the memoirs presented by Maria’s son in 1986, Dziankowska worked together with doctor Libesman and doctor Rapaport in Stanisławów. In 1964, the Israeli Organisation of Stanisławów Jews invited Maria and her son Jan to Israel. Maria had been exchanging letters with Zofia right until her own death. In 1956 and 1957 Zofia delivered statements regarding her relatives who died during the Holocaust to the Yad Vashem Institute: her parents, her brother-in-law, and her sister-in-law.

The Yad Vashem Institute awarded the Righteous Among the Nations title to Maria Dziankowska and Józefa Bizior-Horysławska in 1987.