The Hondra Family

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Story of Rescue - The Hondra Family

“We lived in Stawki, - Stanisław tells us - 10 km from Włodawa. In our village there were about 100 families, in that, two Jewish ones. We lived with one of the families in a building on an estate. It was the family of Szmul Wakierman: his wife Itka, as well as his son Moszko and daughter Bronka. In 1939 they were 9 and 7 years old. We shared a common yard, I don’t recall any arguments.”

The Germans displaced all the Jews from the area into a ghetto in Włodawa. A German, who was in charge of the Adampol estate, took a few dozen Jews to work for him there, including Itka with the children.

“They didn’t have enough food there, a few times our father brought them something to eat. Itka asked us to hide them” -  recalls Stanisław.

They made a hideout in the attic of the cowshed and in the fall of 1942 father and Władysław secretly took Itka and the children out of Adampol. The hiding place was 3 by 2 meters large and tall enough to walk in it.

Stawki was not the best place for hiding. Fairly densely populated, and right next to it the border on the Bug full of the German guards. We always had to be very careful, especially when we were taking food over. Most of the time their sister Adela did it.

“My brother and I belonged to the Home Army, - explains Władysław. - The most critical moment occurred toward the end of the war. The Germans got drunk and one of them lost a round of ammunition. A boy found it and gave it to me. The next day the Germans started questioning the boys. They found out that I had the round. They came to my house. I wasn’t there. They took my brothers – Staszek and Jan. - They said that if I didn’t bring the ammunition back, they would send my brothers to the camp in Majdanek. My father risked it and went to give them back the round. And they let my brothers go.”

The Wakiermans finally came out of hiding at the end of July, 1944. They left Poland. “We correspond, though we are sorry that they’ve never come to visit.” 

Bibliography

  • Gulińska Aleksandra, Interview with Stanisław Hondra, 1.12.2007
  • Przygoda Daniel, Interview with Stanisław and Władysław Hondra, 1.01.2008
  • Gutman Israel red. nacz., Księga Sprawiedliwych wśród Narodów Świata, Ratujący Żydów podczas Holocaustu, Kraków 2009