The Gregorowicz Family

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Story of Rescue - The Gregorowicz Family

The Gregorowiczow family came from Lwów. Leon was an officer in the Austro-Hungarian Army. He died in 1919. In the 1930’s, Mrs Gregorowiczowa, with her daughters Maria and Leonia settled in Kraków.

In the first year of the War, Maria married Ignacy Hirsch, an assimilated Jew, who agreed who agreed to be baptised. The wedding was performed by the priest, Władysław Kulczycki, an activist in the resistance movement involved in helping Jews.

The young couple worked in a firm run by an Austrian, Wilhelm Faude, who knew of Hirsch’s and supported the Gregorowicz family, both materially and morally. His affectionate nature distracted suspicion of any illegal activity.

Leonia joined the resistance. Helping Jews was only one aspect of her fihting against the occupiers, as well as an expression of her belief that every human being was equal. In 1942, she led Ignacy’s mother, Zofia, out of the ghetto. She found a hiding-place for her and, for safety, moved her to other places, among others, to mazura on the Olsza settlement, to Krzyściakowa in the Oficer settlement and to Dąbrowicki on. Moniuszka Street.

Sometimes, Ignacy’s sister, Eugenia, would also hide in these places. However, she was recognised as a Jew on the street and was arrested. She spent the rest of the War in camps. When liberated, she was in Buchenwald.

Solecki, the father of Maria’s friend, also benefitted from the overnight accomodation of the Gregorowicz family. The 8-9 year old Szteiger girl spent a month in their home. Józef Bratter, a doctor friend from Lwów, spent a few weeks there. 

The Hirsch family, the Sztegier girl and Dr Bratter all survived the War. Ignacy took his wife’s surname. In the 1990’s, Eugenia was present when Leonia was awarded the title ”Righteous Among the Nations”.

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Bibliography

  • Gutman Israel red. nacz., Księga Sprawiedliwych wśród Narodów Świata, Ratujący Żydów podczas Holocaustu, Kraków 2009
  • Żulikowski Piotr, Interview with Leonia Gregorowicz, 31.07.2010
  • Archiwum Żydowskiego Instytutu Historycznego, 349, 1793