The Jamro Family

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Story of Rescue - The Jamro Family

When, in July 1942, the Germans liquidated the ghetto in Biecz near Gorlice, Hena and Oskar Oliner hid themselves, at the very last moment, in the bushes near their home and remained there until the end of the Aktion. Unfortunately, they lost their two year old son whom they were unable to take with them. When they returned to their apartment, he was already gone.

For some time, the Oliner’s wandered around the area looking for somewhere safe with friends. Fearing the death penalty for helping Jews, their hosts would be reluctant to have the Jewish couple with them for any longer than a few days. Finally, dirty and hungry, they came upon the farmyard of Karol and Waleria Jamro.

The Jamro’s were farmers in the village of Zagórzany near Gorlice. They had two children, Maria and Jan. Waleria knew Hena from seeing her in her family village. Hena’s parents had a small shop there and the girl had often stood behind the counter.

Karol and Waleria were deeply moved by the Oliner’s situation and decided to help. After hiding for a short time in their home, Karol created a hiding place for them in one of the farm buildings. Making use of a pile of bricks, he laid them is such a way as would make it hard to believe that anyone was hiding behind them.

Despite being extremely careful, someone must have informed the Germans that there were Jews in the Jamros’ farmyard. On a winter’s night, throwing the whole family out of their house and searching the farmyard, they were prepared to shoot everyone if they found any Jews. They found none.

Hena and Oskar remained with the Jamros’ until the Red Army entered the area in January 1945. Not long after, they emigrated to the USA and they lost contact for many years. Contact was reestablished by Maria, daughter of Karol and Waleria, when, in 1989, she travelled to the USA to visit her son. Hena then applied to Yad Vashem to have the Jamro’s honored as ”Righteous Among the Nations”.

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Bibliography

  • Gutman Israel red. nacz., Księga Sprawiedliwych wśród Narodów Świata, Ratujący Żydów podczas Holocaustu, Kraków 2009
  • Czyżewska Anna, Interview with Maria Augustyn, 23.06.2009