The Hojnowski family

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Story of Rescue - The Hojnowski family

Before the war, the Hojnowski family lived in Koło, a town in the Poznańskie Province. They both worked for a Jew by the name of Rainherd – Antoni was an employee in his crafts workshop and Antonina worked as house help. Leokadia, their daughter, said: “Our family always had friendly relations with Jewish families, which is why we helped them throughout the occupation period.”

In 1939, the Hojnowski family was forcefully resettled to the village of Struzno near Bobowa. There, Antoni worked as a lumberjack. They lived in a one-room house with their three small children.

In 1942, a 19-year-old Jew called Jakub Bodner escaped from the labour camp in Biecz (Jasielki County, Kraków District). He tried to reach Bobowa, where he had lived before the war. For four months, he lived in a forest, ate whatever he could find and slept in a makeshift hut. One day, Antoni Hojnowski found him and brought the emaciated, sick and starved boy to his house. Together with his wife, he decided to give him shelter and hide him in the basement.

Bodner lived with the Hojnowski family for four months. During this time, they taught him Christian prayers and traditions and arranged for a fake certificate of baptism. Thanks to this, Bodner found employment at the farm of the Morańda family in the nearby village. He stayed there until the end of the German occupation, i.e. until January 1945.

After the war, Jakub Bodner moved to Canada. When he visited Poland in 1990, he met with the daughter of Antonina and Antoni – Leokadia.

Bibliography

  • Gutman Israel red. nacz., Księga Sprawiedliwych wśród Narodów Świata, Ratujący Żydów podczas Holocaustu, Kraków 2009
  • Archiwum Żydowskiego Instytutu Historycznego, Dział odznaczeń Yad Vashem. Dokumentacja sprawy Antoniny i Antoniego Hojnowskich, 349/24/2201