The Jaworscy Family

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Story of Rescue - The Jaworscy Family

Mikołaj and Anna Jaworski lived in Mielnicze, a village along the Stryj River, six kilometers outside the town of Turka (in what was then Lviv Province). Mikołaj was a rich peasant – he had travelled to America in the early 20th century, and while there had earned the money to develop his farm back home. The Jaworskis had six children: Mikołaj, Olga, Wiktoria, Helena, Anna and Antonina.

In the Spring or Summer of 1942, the Jaworskis’ son Mikołaj together with his uncle Nikolcze met four Jews in a wood on the way from Turka: Mendel Zeifert with his daughter Rózia, his sister-in-law Frania and her son Lusiek. They were fleeing the Nazis and heading for Hungary or Slovakia. They had hired a guide, but he ended up cheating them. One of the rescuers recalls: ‘[uncle said to mother about the Zeifetrs:] “they have no money, no gold, nothing. If you want, let them stay, if you don’t, kill them.” And mother replied: “How could I kill a human being?” So that’s how we left things. And, thank God, they all lived.’

The Zeiferts hid in the Jaworskis’ attic and in a hiding place under their barn. In the summer of 1944, when the Germans set up a communication point at the Jaworskis’, the Jewish family moved to the woods; they nevertheless remained under the Jaworskis’ care,.

The Jaworski family helped other Jewish people as well. A group of partisans were hiding for a short while in their attic. Wiktoria Jaworska, wanting to avoid going to Germany to forced labour, gave her leave order to Łajcia Jecko – thus saving her friend’s life.

After the war, Mendel and Frania left for Bavaria. They married. Till the early 1960s they visited the Jaworski family several times in their new home in Wrocław. Later, they emigrated to the United States and the ties between the families loosened. In November 2008 Wiktoria Jaworska and her daughter Nelly travelled to New York on the invitation of the Jewish Foundation for the Righteous. There, for the first time after 65 years, Wiktoria and Rózia Zeifert were reunited.

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Bibliography

  • Wiktoria Jaworska Sozanska
  • Archiwum Żydowskiego Instytutu Historycznego, 349, 357
  • Czyżewska Anna, Interview with Wiktoria Sozańska and Nelly Sozańska, 12.03.2009
  • Czyżewska Anna, Interview with Helena Jawarska and Anna Cała, 10.03.2009
  • Gutman Israel red. nacz., Księga Sprawiedliwych wśród Narodów Świata, Ratujący Żydów podczas Holocaustu, Kraków 2009