The Kruk Family

enlarge map
Photos: 3

Story of Rescue - The Kruk Family

During the occupation, Maria Kruk lived in the village of Łomna, near Nowy Wiśnicz, together with her three children - Anna, Maria and Józef.  At the request of her neighbour Władysław Wyrwa, who was involved in saving Jews, she hid a family of four on her farm. That family was comprised of Margot Dränger, her husband Jerzy Dränger, her father Leiser Lieblich, as well as Simche Lieblich. They stayed with the Kruk family until the autumn of 1944.

Realising the danger involved, the Kruk family discussed the issue for a few days before deciding to accept the Jews. All the members of the family took an active role, as did Maria’s son-in-law, Roman Święch. They dug a hiding place (2 x 3 x 2 metres in deminsion)  under the floor which served as a bedroom. Margot, Jerzy, Leiser and Simche did not go out into the yard. They spent the majority of the time in their hiding place. Sometimes, they would leave to go into the hallway or into the attic.

Years later, Anna Kruk remembers that ”the worst thing was being aware of the penalty we faced for hiding Jews. However, the desire to help prevailed - despite everything. We matured under terrible conditions – still children, but already adults. The tension was constant.”

The Kruk family members shared the duties. Maria Kruk, with her older daughter Maria, prepared the meals. Anna bought the food. Due to suspicions that could arise amongst the local shopkeepers, she would go 10 kms barefoot in order to supply the family, and those who were hidden, with bread and flour. Józef looked after the logistics, as well as ensuring that there were no ”slip-ups”.

Władysław Wyrwa assisted the Kruk family financially and morally. Thanks to his intervention, Germans who searched the area never discovered the Jews who were hidden on Maria Kruk’s farm.

Following liberation of the region in the spring of 1945, those who had been in hiding headed in the direction of Wiśnicz. They did not maintain contact with Maria Kruk or her children. Thanks to the efforts of Władysław Wyrwa, the family were honoured with the title of ”Righteous Among the Nations”. 

Other Stories of Rescue in the Area

Bibliography

  • Archiwum Żydowskiego Instytutu Historycznego, 349, 1800
  • VI LO w Tarnowie, Elaboration of interview with Anna Kruk-Nizioł, 1.05.2005
  • Gutman Israel red. nacz., Księga Sprawiedliwych wśród Narodów Świata, Ratujący Żydów podczas Holocaustu, Kraków 2009