Kopcinska - Wyganowska Helena

enlarge map

Story of Rescue - Kopcinska - Wyganowska Helena

“She hid us with full awareness, with full conviction and sacrifice, and despite knowing the consequences the German authorities would impose on her for this, she did it selflessly, not counting on any gratification any time, a fact she had often stressed.” – reads an excerpt from the statement made by Ewelina and Roman Winter right after the end of World War II, in the office of a notary.


Helena Kopcińska took in the siblings, her acquaintances, in August 1941. The twenty-year-old fugitives from the ghetto were very hard to hide in the apartment block on Filtrowa Street in Warsaw. In May 1944, when the neighbors began to voice their suspicions, Helena sent the Winters to a friend’s house in the mountain resort of Krościenko. She made sure they were financially secure. They stayed in the town until they were liberated by the Red Army in January 1945.

After the war, the Winters chose to emigrate. Shortly before their journey to South America, they met their rescuer, by chance, in a street in Warsaw. Correspondence with the Western world after the war was not made easy by the Stalinist regime in Poland. Letters seldom reached their intended adresses, and Helena had remarried and moved.

“I really regret that I don’t know anything about them, I don’t even know where they might be living or whether there still alive.”-she wrote in 1991. 

Other Stories of Rescue in the Area

Bibliography

  • Archiwum Żydowskiego Instytutu Historycznego, 349, 1524
  • Gutman Israel red. nacz., Księga Sprawiedliwych wśród Narodów Świata, Ratujący Żydów podczas Holocaustu, Kraków 2009