The Kurpiel Family

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Story of Rescue - The Kurpiel Family

During the Nazi occupation, Stanisław and Franciszka Kurpiel lived with their six children in a property in Leoncin, near Krasiczyn. In 1942, the Germans drove cattle to the property, and some Jews from the ghetto in Przemyśl were ordered to guard it. They contacted Stanisław Kurpiel, who agreed to hide them. The Kurpiels helped around 30 Jews in total, among them were the Rubinfeld, Golinger, Spiegel, and Rubin families.

At first, the Jews hid in a hiding place under the house. The entrance was camouflaged by a rabbit cage by the wall of the house. In summer 1943 the Kurpiels built another hiding place in the stable under the floor. The entrance was hidden under the manger, covered with a plank of wood and some straw.

“Nobody knew how the Germans found out that the Kurpiels were hiding Jews.” Stanisława Kucharska, a witness of the events, recollected: “Some said that it was one of the inhabitants who turned them in, others said that Franciszka was buying so many groceries in Przemyśl, paying in cash, that a spy was sent after her who saw what was going on.”

On 21st May 1944, about 20 Ukrainian policemen surrounded the building. First, they led the entire Polish family and Jews they found in the hiding places out in front of the house. The Jews were all shot. Only one person managed to escape and survive through to the end of the war.

Stanisław and Franciszka Kurpiel were taken to the Gestapo prison in Przemyśl. A month later they were executed in the fort in Lipowica.