The Fortunski Family

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Story of Rescue - the Fortunski Family

They lived at ul Twarda 60 on Warsaw, right next to the ghetto. Her father was unemployed, so her mother would take a soldering iron and go about the countryside to solder pots and pans.

The Germans announced that the ghetto was to be closed, so the parents invited the Bergier family to stay with them. They had been friends for years. Mr. Bergier was a shoemaker. The family came: Mr. Bergier, his wife, Czesia, one of their 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 shoe uppers.

“A neighbour came. he argued with Bergier's daughter and, after she left, Mrs. Bergier said, ‘She’ll betray us.’ Two weeks later. the Gestapo came. Mr. Bergier took out some money and gave it to them. They said that they would be back the following week, when he again gave them money. They said he had better more ready next time. Mr. Bergier said that this was all he had, at which the Gestapo officer hit him in the face. When the Gestapo came the third time, the Mr Bergier had gone, as had mom and I. So they beat up my dad and sister. It’s a good thing that they didn’t kill them."

Mrs. Bergier hid at Czesia’s house. She had married to a Pole and was 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 identity cards as a married couple and found employment at a factory. She sewed and he made shoes. Later, they were joined by Mrs. Bergier and her other daughter with a five-year-old son.

“Lucjan would often sit in front of the machine, crying, sure we would not survive. I told him that we would. "We WILL survive, so long as we don't break down". I made myself a small altar and I prayed”.

After the war they married and had three daughters.

Other Stories of Rescue in the Area

Bibliography

  • Tatar Anna, Interview with Janina Mazur, 1.01.2008