The Kafarski Family

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Story of Rescue - The Kafarski Family

– “A child appears and asks for help. And what, reject it?” asks Wanda Kafarska.

Before the war she had lived in Będzin together with her parents and siblings.

During the German occupation, her father Stanisław Grzybowski worked in the Chorzów mine. A few Jews from the forced labor camp were assigned to the brigade. Bencion Kleinmann was one of them. He had a wife named Hana, and two children: an older one named Cela, and a younger one named Icchak. Every so often Stanisław used to travel between Chorzów and Będzin. From there he brought Hana letters from her husband. For Bencion, on the other hand, he took packages with underwear and food. 

– “Daddy became sort of a courier between Mr. Kleinmann and his wife,” Wanda recollects. In mid-1942, the Germans created a ghetto in Będzin, where Hania and the children found themselves. In 1943, the Germans began to dissolve the Będzin ghetto. Overcrowded trains headed towards Auschwitz. Hana Kleinmann, 13-year-old Cela, and 9-year-old Icchak were also deported. Earlier, however, Hana had given her daughter Stanisław Grzybowski’s address. 

Bencion also asked Stanisław for help: “If anything happens to us, would you take care of my children?” he asked. And Stanisław replied, “I will.”

The roof of the train was missing two wooden planks. Cela and Icchak managed to get outside. They jumped off the train and reached Stanisław’s apartment. When Cela exited the house in order to procure “Aryan” papers, she was arrested by the Germans and murdered.

Stanisław hid Icchak in a dug-out in the forest and brought him food every evening. The boy had also hidden in Stanisław’s apartment for some time. When someone knocked on the door, the boy hid under the bed. One day, Grzybowski took Icchak to his daughter. In spring 1944, Wanda Kafarska moved to Przeciszów with her husband, their son, and Icchak (called Jaś). After the war, Icchak went to Israel with his relatives.