The Gebel family

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Story of Rescue - The Gebel family

Before the outbreak of World War II Bolesław and Antonina Gebel along with their son Andrzej (1936–2015) lived in Cracow at Przemyska St. They had many Jewish neighbours who were their friends. During the German occupation Antonina was engaged in trade, and Bolesław took on various jobs.

In the winter of 1942 or at the beginning of 1943 the Gebels took in two young women – Regina Felczer and Chana (Anna) Wiener, who were brought to them by Bolesław's friend – railwayman Łopusiewicz. They were supposed to stay at the Gebel's home only for a month, but after Łopusiewicz died at the hands of the Germans, the women remained there until the liberation of Cracow in January 1945.

According to Andrzej Gebel's account of 1996 – they had escaped from the ghetto in Stanisławów. At the train station they had bribed a railwayman, who then arranged their trip to Cracow. Their stay at the Gebels' house was carefully kept in secrecy. "They both served as housekeepers. When "anyone" knocked on the door, both Jewish girls would hide behind a huge corner cupboard in the kitchen; at night they went outdoors to the backyard. It was a very hard and difficult life".

After the war, both women left Poland. In the 50s Anna Horn and her husband James sent letters to Cracow.

Andrzej Gebel made his statement when he was encouraged by Anna Horn, who in 1996 came to Cracow with her daughter and re-established the contact with the Gebel family. In his statement, he wrote with regret "And so the matter was forgotten, because oblivion was the payment for saving someone's life [...] I am writing [...] so that it is known that there were also righteous Poles who risked their own lives to save Jews during the Holocaust and dark occupation".

In 1997 the Yad Vashem Institute awarded Antonina and Bolesław Gebel the title of Righteous Among the Nations.