The Kowalczyk Family

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Story of Rescue - The Kowalczyk Family

Once he was in the sub-camp, Aleksander Allerhand began to think of ways to help his younger sisters escape from the ghetto again. He turned for help to another Polish family, the Kowalczyks, who had also been friends of his parents before the war.

Bronisław and his brothers lived with their parents Salomea and Stanisław Kowalczyk in Kraków. After Aleksander approached the family for help, they arranged for the twin Allerhand sisters, Anna and Róża, to shelter with friends of theirs in the village of Monasterzyska, near to Stanisławów. They hired a local woman to ride with the girls on the train there. This woman did not know that they were Jewish and that they had just escaped from the ghetto. In the village, the girls were placed in separate houses, and were to pretend that they didn’t know each other. People in the village, however, soon began to suspect they were Jewish.

To dispel the rumours, Anna’s name was changed to Marysia and she was sent back to Kraków to obtain "Aryan papers" for herself and her sister Rozalia. On arriving in the city she went directly to Bronisław’s family, who hid her as they tried to arrange the necessary papers. This proved more difficult than they had anticipated, and again the neighbours grew suspicious. 

From the exhibition Polish Heroes: Those Who Rescued Jews, curated by the Auschwitz Jewish Center, the Galicia Jewish Museum, and the Polish/American/Jewish Alliance for Youth Action (PAJA).