Gołkowska Czesława

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Story of Rescue - Gołkowska Czesława

Before the war broke out, Czesława Gołkowska lived in Schodnica near Borysław where her husband Jerzy occupied a managerial position in a kerosene-extracting enterprise. Czesława ran their household and handled the rearing of their children – their son Tadeusz and their daughter Irena who was born during the war.

Before that, when Czesława studied at a vocational school, she made friends with Salomea Neuman, a student of the same grade. “I was very good friends not only with her but with her entire family as well”, Czesława wrote in 1996. They lost contact with each other when the German occupation started. Czesława would visit the ghetto in Borysław-Mrażnica - she was going to a Jewish dentist there. It was thanks to him that she learned that her friend was in the ghetto, working at a sewing room and sewing uniforms for the Germans. Czesława contacted Salomea and proposed that she should hide in Schodnica. Her idea was approved later on by her husband.

Close to the end of 1942, Jerzy Gołkowski got Salomea out of Borysław and led her across the surrounding forests to Schodnica. She stayed with the Gołkowskis, in an apartment block for employees. They felt endangered all the time. Czesława wrote: “Mrs Salka was very anxious during her stay with us because people would often come to visit us: kerosene extraction people or the local doctor. While we entertained our guests, she would hide in the larder or under a bed with bed cloth pulled down to the level of the floor. The windows of our apartment were covered up to half of their height with cloth sheer curtains – our neighbours found that puzzling”.

Tadeusz Gołkowski, Czesława’s and Jerzy’s son, also recalled that he was told by his parents never to mention to anyone that a friend of his mother was staying with them. While explaining the reasons underlying her decision to hide Salomea, Czesława emphasized the following: “We took Mrs Salomea in because of our close contact and the fact that we had been friends in our youth”. Salomea stayed with the Gołkowski family for several months “without any reward or payment for them”. In her statement made in 1996, Czesława pointed out the family’s difficult financial situation resulting from “meagre [...] food rations. We used sugar beet extract instead of sugar and we often had to procure potatoes in secrecy”.

Salomea’s sister Regina, who was then in the Borysław ghetto and worked for Karpathen Ől, sent a postcard to her sister to the address of the Gołkowski family, asking them if it would be possible for her to come to them and hide together with Salomea. Salomea concluded that she could not stay with the Gołkowskis any longer in view of such correspondence. Ignoring the protests of her hosts, she left Schodnica and went back to Borysław.

After the ghetto in Borysław was liquidated, she managed to run away but was re-captured and transported to Auschwitz. She managed to survive the march of death. In the April of 1945, she was set free from the Mehltheuer concentration camp in Saxony and went to Israel in 1948. She married Yehuda Stolar (1910–1993) and gave birth to a daughter they named Hanita Lulavi.

The Gołkowski family was repatriated to Poland and they settled in Gorlice. Salomea found them after the war was over and communicated with them by mail.
The Yad Vashem Institute awarded the Righteous Among the Nations title to Czesława and Jerzy Gołkowski in 1997.