The Galas Family

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Story of Rescue - The Galas Family

The Galas family lived in Warsaw, on Ogrodowa Street. After World War II broke out, the street was to become part of the newly-built ghetto. The Galas family had to move out and they exchanged apartments with three Jewish women from Brzeska Street.

The three women later returned to their apartment as fugitives seeking shelter for themselves and their children. They stayed there for six months, until a blackmailer learned of their presence.

From time to time, the Galas family gave shelter to a courier from the ghetto. Every time she stayed for a short while, never more than one night, just to have a bath and wash some clothes. Before she died, she gave the address of the apartment to her husband. He asked for shelter on Brzeska Street six months after the fall of the Ghetto Uprising, having been forced out of his hideout in the ruins by the freezing cold.

Another Jew, Dawid Efrajmowicz hid in the apartment for several months. He remained in touch with Stanisław for the rest of his life.

“I met this boy at the [Różyckiego] bazaar. He came with his sister, there were lots of people [from the ghetto] who came there at that time. There was terrible poverty and it forced people to go out, risking a lot, because leaving the ghetto [and going to] the ‘Aryan side’ was punishable by death.”

Stanisław joined the Home Army, and served for three years. He considered helping Jews as “an order from the authorities and a form of opposing the invaders.”

“I had the Information Bulletin [newspaper] of the Home Army, I read every issue. There was an order not to harm [Jews] and if at all possible, to help. They couldn’t force people to help, because that would be risking human lives. If someone wished to, they could help, but in no way was it allowed to cause harm.”

In 1943, during the Ghetto Uprising, Stanisław’s father, Jan Galas, helped the Jewish fighters leave the burning ghetto through the sewers. The hideout where the group was waiting for transport was discovered by the Germans. All trace of Jan Galas was lost.

Other Stories of Rescue in the Area

Bibliography

  • Gutman Israel red. nacz., Księga Sprawiedliwych wśród Narodów Świata, Ratujący Żydów podczas Holocaustu, Kraków 2009
  • Kamiński Łukasz Stopa Zofia, Interview with Stanisław Galas, 15.04.2009