The Dziechciarz Family

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Story of Rescue - The Dziechciarz Family

Before the Second World War, Jarocin was a small village surrounded with thick forests situated between Janów Lubelski and today’s Stalowa Wola,. After the outbreak of the war, the woods became shelter for many partisan groups and soon also for hiding Jews.

Despite of frequent German patrols in Jarocin, Genowefa Dziechciarz (born Czerepak) together with her husband Marcin, a veteran of the Polish September Camping of 1939, whom she married in 1943, decided to help her school friend Idessa (Judyta) Aszenberg and her fiance Wolf (Zeew) (Roman) Zilber from Zaklików. They both managed to escape from a convoy of Jewish prisoners that was passing through Jarocin. Judyta came from a religious family. The house of her parents served as a place of prayer for local Jews and her father was a shochet (a ritual slaughterer). The Dziechciarzs were helping the couple from 1942. They put them up at nights in a special hiding place over an utility room or at the attic of their barn. They also provided them with food and warned if the Nazis were present in the village. 

Genowefa Dziechciarz recalls such a situation in an interview for Museum of the History of Polish Jews: ”And I had already seen how they were catching Jews. And I said: And he like heard me or […] saw my gestures, my waving with my […] hand… and he ran away. He lost his shoes […] but he survived, he survived. And he always said:

Soon, the two refugees were joined by other Jews. They also received shelter and food from Genowefa and Marcin Dziechdziarz. Genowefa’s father, Marcin Czerepak, who lived in nearby Kurzyna, helped his daughter and son-in-law in preparing hiding places. He also saved life of a man shot by the Nazis. He arranged for a doctor from nearby Ulanów to come to the woods to help the wounded.

The three Righteous were helping Jews till 1943 when the majority of the Jews joined a Soviet partisan group led by Sidor Kołpak. Wolf and Idessa survived the war and soon afterwards they emigrated to Israel. The couple stayed in touch with Dziechdziarz family and had been visiting them since 1980’s.  In 1988 they invited Genowefa and Marcin for a visit to Israel.

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Bibliography

  • Madajczyk Czesław, Polityka III Rzeszy w okupowanej Polsce, Warszawa 1970
  • Pilichowski Czesław red., Obozy hitlerowskie na ziemiach polskich 1939-1945, Warszawa 1979
  • Krzysztof Banach, Interview with Genowefa Dziechciarz, 17.10.2010
  • Gutman Israel red. nacz., Księga Sprawiedliwych wśród Narodów Świata, Ratujący Żydów podczas Holocaustu, Kraków 2009