The Kadziolka Family

enlarge map

Story of Rescue - The Kadziolka Family

In 1931, farmer and carpenter, Stanisław Kądziołków, with his wife Maria, returned form the Polish settlement of  Czaple to his homeland in the Przeworska and Kańczugi aera. Stanisław took over a farm in the village of Więckowice, in the municipality Roźwienica in the Jarosławski District, currently in the Podkarpacie Province. His wife died four years later, leaving him with five children - Genowefa, Leokadia, Zbigniewa, Stanisława and Edwarda. Stanisław married again.

The Kądziołków knew the Katz family well. They lived in nearby Czelatyc where they were engaged in business, running a wayside inn and a farm. In an interview for the museum of the History of Polish Jews, Jeszcze, Leokadia Kieler recalls that, before the War, ”The brought cows and calves from my father – they bought everything that was raised on the farm. So that we were friends with them from long before the War”.

It was probably in the autumn of 1942, following the mass executions of Jews in Czelatyce and other nearby places, that the Katz siblings hid in the Kądziołków farm - Mojżesz (Moszek) Katz and his sister, Blima. They had asked Stanisław’s permission to stay for a few days. Thanks to the insistence of his older daughters, Genowefa and Leokadia, who sympathised with the terrified and freezing-cold pair, they remained there until liberation in July 1944.

At first, they were hidden in the stable and, later, in a specially prepared hiding-places under the barn, the cowshed and the farmhouse. Shortly after, the Katz family were joined by Blima’s fiance, Majer Balu, from nearby Węgierki. In 1943, Blima gave birth to a little girl who, sadly, died after a few days.

Almost the entire Katz family was murdered – the parents, Eliasz and Fejga Lea (nee Gams), Mojżesz’s wife and child, his brother Mechel (Michael) and his family and his sister Riwka. The Kądziołków family also helped Icik, brother of Mojżesz and Blima, who had hidden in the forest and sometimes came to the farm. However, Icik and his wife Chana (nee Schifman) did not manage to survive. From the winter of 1942, the Kądziołków family also hid, away from the Gestapo, Jankowski and his wife, as well as a tailor from Roźwienice named  Menasze ”Churchill”.

The two oldest daughters took general charge of looking after those hidden. Genowefa Ostrowska, did the cooking and Leokadia Kieler, who did seasonal work in order to earn a little extra money, did their laundry. After the War, it turned out that some inhabitants of Więckowice and Czelatyc had worked out that the Kądziołków family were hiding Jews, but, according to Leokadia Kieler, on account of the death of her mother, they had kept quiet. ”Due to us being orphaned, these people, for that reason, the children and us sisters, they covered it up as though they knew nothing about it”.

Following liberation, Stanisław asked the survivors not to speak of the help his family had given them. Blima and Mosze left, first to Jarosław, and then to Kraków, where Blima gave birth to twins. Majer Blau died from bring shot in Munich. The Kądziołków family visited Blima and Mojżesz in Jarosław and in Kraków but lost contact with  them after they left for Israel.

More

Bibliography

  • Gutman Israel red. nacz., Księga Sprawiedliwych wśród Narodów Świata, Ratujący Żydów podczas Holocaustu, Kraków 2009
  • Dedio Justyna, Interview with Leokadia Kieler, 4.08.2010
  • Archiwum Żydowskiego Instytutu Historycznego, 349, 2526