The Filipowski Family

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Story of Rescue - the Filipowski Family

During the war, Edward and Józefa Filipowski lived in the Praga district of Warsaw. They ran a grocery store on the ground floor of their tenement house.

One day, in the spring 1943, a young Jewish woman - Natalia Lauer - came to the store. She asked about a woman who had lived nearby, and who had promised to provide Natalia with shelter. However, no one opened the door at the given address. Józefa Filipowska, knowing that the woman had left for somewhere, offered to take in Natalya.

The girl did not stay with the Filipowski couple right away. She lived in the ghetto and she had to return there. She came to Praga every day with a work column, brought there to work in a factory. After returning from the Filipowski family, Natalia began to prepare to leave the ghetto. A few days later, hiding a few family souvenirs under her coat, she went to work like every day.

During the workers' march across the Kierbedź Bridge, Natalia managed to distance herself from the group. The Filipowskis' daughter, Zdzisława, helped her escape and brought the girl home. 

"I joined her. Then she took off her armband and we quickly mingled amongst the trees  and the people”

See the tenements in Warsaw's Praga district, in which the Filipowski family hid Natalia Lauer.

Natalia lived with the Filipowski family. There were six people in one room with a kitchen - Edward, Józefa and their three children: Halina, Zdzisława, Wiesław, and Natalya. Years later, when asked whether the living conditions had caused any problems, Zdzisława replied, “It was not hard. It was nice, like in a family.” Natalia was introduced to the Filipowskis’ neighbours and relatives as a cousin from the Lwów area. In order not to arouse suspicion, she had also learned Catholic prayers and attended church with the whole family.

Natalia survived the War at the Filipowski family, living with them until she established her own family. The Filipowski family arranged Natalya’s wedding reception. The married couple lived under the name Piotrowski, and settled in a house on ul Ząbkowska. Soon, two children were born - Ewa and Marek. Some time later (probably in 1968), they left to Israel. They changed their name to Laor-Piotrowski.

Despite their departure, the two families stayed in touch. In 1989, Natalia, her husband, and their children visited Poland. A year later, Zdzisława Trzebiecka, the Filipowskis’ daughter, visited Israel. The Laor-Piotrowski children continue to keep contact with Zdzisława.

In 1985, her mother, Józefa Filipowska, was posthumously honoured with the title of Righteous Among the Nations.

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