The Karbowski Family

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Story of Rescue - The Karbowski Family

Józef and Marta Karbowski had three sons: Stefan, Czesław, and Jan, as well as a daughter – Zofia. Before the war, Józef Karbowski had worked as the main electrician at the Warsaw Polytechnic, and Marta took care of the house. They lived on Lwowska Street in Warsaw, on the Warsaw Polytechnic campus.

When the war broke out, their youngest daughter, Zofia, was employed at a day care where she helped children with their homework. She was also active in the scouts, working in the defense command and issuing alarms. After the Warsaw Uprising, she ended up in camps; first in Łambinowice, and then in Grossbreitenbach. All members of the Karbowski family survived the war.

In October 1942, Marta Karbowska brought home a 13-year-old Jewish boy named Natan Goren. His mother had often visited him. The boy received a room, which belonged to Zofia – the Karbowskis’ youngest daughter. Zofia Szołoch nee Karbowska, the youngest member of the family, recalled many years later: “Very friendly boy. A nice one, cuddly, just family-oriented and all of us took care of him, the entire family.” No one except the Karbowskis knew that a Jewish child lived with them. The boy lived at their home under the name Zenek Machałowski until September 1943. The family’s move to Elektoralna Street posed danger in the new place, so Natan’s mother transferred her son to another, safer place in Warsaw.

The families lost touch after their wartime separation. Natan Goren found Zofia Szołoch, the youngest and the only still alive member of the Karbowski family, only in 1988. Thanks to his initiative, the Yad Vashem Institute granted the entire six-member Karbowski family the title “Righteous among the Nations” in 1990.

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