The Fortunski Family

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Story of Rescue - The Fortunski Family

They were living at 60 Twarda Street in Warsaw, right next to the ghetto. Her father was unemployed, so the mother would take a soldering iron, some tin and go out to solder pots. The Germans announced the ghetto was going to be closed, so the parents invited the Bergiers to stay with them. They had been friends for years. Mr. Bergier was a bootmaker. The family came in: Mr. Bergier and his wife, Czesia, one of the daughters and their son Lucjan.

“Mom gave Czesia the certificate of my late sister; her age was right.”

Bergier would sit in the corner by the window all day and make bootlegs.

“A neighbor came, she got into an argument with Czesia, over some thing or other, and after she left, Mrs. Bergier said: ‘She’ll give us out.’ Two weeks later the Gestapo came. Mr. Bergier took out some money and gave them, they said they’d be back next week – he gave them money again, they said he’d better have some more ready next time. Mr. Bergier said that was all he had, and the Gestapo man hit him in the face. And when the Gestapo came the third time, the Bergiers were gone, and so were mom and I. They’ve beaten up my dad and sister. It’s a good thing they didn’t kill them.

Mrs. Bergier hid at Czesia’s house, who by the time was married to a Pole and living in Włochy; Mr. Bergier went to an acquaintance cobbler in Żyrardów, and Lucjan left for Radom. He asked her to stay with him. The parents agreed. The two obtained fake a Kennkarte as a married couple and found employment at a factory. She was sewing, he was making shoes. Later they were joined by Mrs. Bergier and her other daughter with a 5-year-old son.

“Lucjan would often sit in front of the machine, crying, sure we would not survive, and I told him that we would, that we must not break down. I made myself a small shrine. And my prayers were heard.”

After the war they married and had three daughters.

Other Stories of Rescue in the Area


  • Tatar Anna, Interview with Janina Mazur, 1.01.2008