Dzik Tadeusz

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Story of Rescue - Dzik Tadeusz

Tadeusz Dzik, since his early school years, had friends of the Jewish origin.He attended the Gymnasium named after Jan Kochanowski in Cracow with Maksymilian Wahl whom he helped during the occupation. They both studied at Jagiellonian University. Tadeusz Dzik studied at the Faculty of Law, whilst Maksymilian at the Faculty of Chemistry. He also knew his brother Julian and sister Pola, who got married after the war and assumed the surname Szechner.

During the war, Tadeusz Dzik worked in the City Power Station, where he was responsible for reading and recording the meters in houses.After the formation of the Cracow ghetto in March 1941, he applied for the assignment of the district of Podgórze, in which Germans arranged the Jewish district.

Tadeusz Dzik used his pass from the City Power Station to enter the ghetto.He also helped the Wahl family - Leon and his wife and children: Pola, Maksymilian, Fryderyk and Julian. During the mass operations of deportation to the extermination camp in Bełżec, he used to lead them out of the ghetto and, after the end of an operation, helped them to return safely. He also arranged false documents for the Wahls. The Wahls paid for the false identity documents made by a man named Żuchowicz. Dzik also provided false documents to other inhabitants of the Cracow ghetto, including, among others, Samuel Scheindlinger, Runia Graj and her brother Izydor Morgenstern and his wife Helena and Sara Stern and her husband.

Pola Wahl-Szechner, whose husband was in Lvov, did not want to live in the Cracow ghetto.Tadeusz Dzik helped her to leave to Wola Dębowiecka, his father’s home village in the district of Jasło and arranged accommodation for her in the place of a farmer named Praszek. She lived there as a Pole named Paulina Stebnicka, who hid from the Germans to avoid being sent to forced labour. She spent a month in Wola Dębowiecka, but returned to Cracow having learned of her mother’s mortal illness. She was not able to enter the ghetto, but sent a letter to her mother through Dzik.  After that, she left to Wieliczka.

A few days later, Tadeusz Dzik was arrested by Obersturmführer Hüblinger from the Gestapo.“He ordered me to show my identity card and told me that I had been observed for a long time and that he knew about providing false identity cards to Jews and that I led a Jewish woman out of the ghetto”. After interrogation and battering, he was released due to lack of evidence. He did not stop helping Pola, but he had to be very careful. With the support of his sister Janina Trent, he arranged accommodation for her in Skawina near Cracow. Pola lived in the place of Maria Kiebuzińska, the mother-in-law of the mayor of Skawina, assumed the name Stebnicka and worked in a local hospital. Tadeusz Dzik recollected after the war: “Throughout the entire period, I helped her financially and supported morally, helping her to survive that time, since her life was full of concern and anxiety and the fear of being recognized and denounced was always with her”.

Tadeusz Dzik also helped Frania Bilfeld whom he had met in the Cracow ghetto. After the liquidation of the ghetto, the girl found herself in the camp at the “Kabel” factory in Cracow.Dzik provided her with food through a Pole Edward Kandelka. Frania survived the war and married a man named Reisman. She went to France and then to Israel.

Pola Wahl survived the occupation and kept in touch with Tadeusz Dzik until her death in 1982. Leon Wahl died in KL Auschwitz-Birkenau, his wife died of typhus in the Cracow ghetto, Maksymilian died in KL Mauthausen, whilst Fryderyk was shot on the so-called Aryan side.Apart from Pola, her brother Julian Wahl survived the war.

Bibliography

  • Gutman Israel red. nacz., Księga Sprawiedliwych wśród Narodów Świata, Ratujący Żydów podczas Holocaustu, Kraków 2009
  • Biberstein A., Zagłada Żydów w Krakowie, Kraków 2001
  • Archiwum Żydowskiego Instytutu Historycznego, 349, 424