Fiebig-Jasiczek Emma

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Story of Rescue - Fiebig-Jasiczek Emma

Stanisław Sierpiński was born as Wiktor (Wigdor Nusym) Margulies in Nastaszów (Ukr. Nastasiv), Tarnopol (Ukr. Ternopil) County, in eastern Galicia. His father Wilhelm Goliger and mother Anna Margulies owned a manor estate. In his interview for Yad Vashem in 1969, Sierpiński described his family as “a Jewish family of farmers from time immemorial”.

In 1927 Sierpiński graduated from junior high school in Tarnopol, and then went abroad to study medicine in Nancy, France. After his return to Poland, he managed to get his diploma recognized in 1934, and in 1936 he took up a job at the “Zofiówka” mental hospital in Otwock near Warsaw, where he met Emma Fiebig, who worked as a nurse. Although he was not a member of the Communist Party of Poland (Polish: Polska Partia Komunistyczna, PPK), he was active in the International Red Aid.

In early September 1939, after the German invasion on Poland, Sierpiński went east and stayed in his native village until January 1940. From the early 1940 until the attack of the Third Reich on the Soviet Union, he worked at the mental hospital in the Kleparów (Ukr. Klepariv) district of Lwów (Ukr. Lviv).

In November 1941 Sierpiński was transported from Lwów to Warsaw with the help of a nurse from the “Zofiówka” Sanatorium. He found himself in the Warsaw ghetto. He was active in the Society for Safeguarding the Health of the Jewish Populace in Poland (Polish: Towarzystwo Ochrony Zdrowia Ludności Żydowskiej w Polsce, TOZ), was responsible for sleeping quarters for those displaced to the ghetto, and between May and August 1942 was employed at the Czyste district hospital, at the urology ward headed by Dr. Eufemiusz Herman. In the ghetto, he joined the Polish Workers' Party (Polish: Polska Partia Robotnicza, PPR) and acted in its underground structures under the pseudonym “Felek”.

When the great liquidation action in the Warsaw ghetto began, Emma Fiebig-Jasiczek offered to help with his escape. In his interview for Yad Vashem, Sierpiński summarized his escape to the “Aryan” side in August 1942 as follows: “I was pulled out by a Volksdeutsch woman who had worked with me in Otwock. She found out from some nurse that I was in the ghetto and she pulled me out. She was a wonderful human being. Her name is Emma Fibik, and she is alive today. [...] Back then, in August 1942, she came to the ghetto with a note that said two Jews were needed for work in a factory and she pulled out me and the wife of that Polish nurse. She took me into her home.” Emma supplied Sierpiński with counterfeit documents. After leaving her apartment, Sierpiński joined the partisan units in Lublin.

In the late 1942, Emma was arrested and put in a concentration camp. According to Sierpiński, she was given a five-year sentence for aiding Jews.

Until the entry of Soviet troops into the Praga district in September 1944, Sierpiński was active in the underground structures of the People's Guard, then the People's Army in Warsaw and partisan units in the field, including in the vicinity of Łowicz and Puławy.

Before the Warsaw Uprising broke out, he was appointed head of sanitation for the Praga district within the structures of the People's Army. In the clandestine apartment he occupied in 1944, where weapons and underground publications were stored, he met his future wife Wiera Baksztańska, who was also hiding on the “Aryan” side.

On 14 September 1944 Sierpiński was named Head of the Department of Health at the City Board of Warsaw, then head of personnel at the Warsaw Committee of the Polish Workers' Party.

After the war he married Wiera. He was appointed Deputy Director, and in 1950 Director of the Infant Jesus Hospital. At the same time he worked at the Department of Neurosurgery as an assistant, assistant professor and associate professor.

In July 1966 he took up the post of faculty professor at the Medical University in Warsaw, head of the neurological department of the Polish Academy of Sciences and faculty professor at the neurosurgery clinic of the Medical University. As a result of anti-Semitic purges, he was removed from the position as vice-dean of the Medical University in September 1968.

Sierpiński and his wife migrated to Israel, where he worked at the neurosurgical ward of the Rambam hospital in Haifa.

Interviewed in Haifa in 1969, Sierpiński briefly mentioned his relationship with Emma Fiebig: “After the war, I found out she was alive. I had her rehabilitated very quickly (she was on the Volksdeutsch list)”. According to other accounts, she refused to sign the Volksliste in spite of her German origin.

In 1986 the Yad Vashem Institute decided to award Emma Fiebig-Jasiczek the title of Righteous Among the Nations.

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