The Krol Family

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Story of Rescue - The Krol Family

Zenobia and Piotr Król together with their seven children lived in the village of Krasne Potockie (Nowy Sącz county). They owned a flourmill, their main source of income. The Króls were good friends with the Steinlaufs, a Jewish family living in the neighbourhood. In the winter of 1939, when the mill froze, Emil and Sala Steinlauf supported the Król family by providing them with food and firewood.

In June 1941, the Nazi Germans opened the Nowy Sącz ghetto. The Steinlaufs and their children were ordered to move there. They lived in the Jewish quarter since then. However, the Króls did not forget their old neighbours and supported them by providing food. One year later, in the summer of 1942, rumours started to spread that the Nowy Sącz ghetto was to be liquidated, and the Jews living there deported to the East. Then, Zenobia Król managed to get to the ghetto and offered her help to the Steinlaufs. In this way, the Króls wanted to express their gratitude for their previous support.

On 22 August 1942, one day before the Nowy Sącz ghetto was liquidated, Emil and Sala Steinlauf together with their four children escaped from its area and got to the Króls' house. Zenobia and Piotr prepared a shelter for them in the stable loft. Their children also knew about the Jews hiding in the farm and got involved in helping them. The youngest members of the Król family brought meals to the Steinlaufs, helped with the cleaning and washing, sometimes played with their children and warned them against possible dangers. They kept the secret from their neighbours and other family members.

The Steinlaufs stayed with the Króls until the end of the occupation. After the war, Janina recalled: "The entire Steinlauf family survived thanks to the courage and generosity of my parents."

Shortly after the war, the Steinlauf family left for Israel. Emil and Sala passed away before the procedure of bestowing the Król family with the Righteous Among the Nations award was initiated. Both families stayed in touch.

Bibliography

  • Gutman Israel red. nacz., Księga Sprawiedliwych wśród Narodów Świata, Ratujący Żydów podczas Holocaustu, Kraków 2009
  • Archiwum Yad Vashem, M.31.2/2192
  • Archiwum Żydowskiego Instytutu Historycznego, Dział odznaczeń Yad Vashem. Dokumentacja sprawy Janiny Król, 349/24/2464