The Lipiński Family

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Story of Rescue - The Lipiński Family

Feliks and Waleria Lipiński ran a 5.6 acre farm in Przyborów, a village lying 13 kms from Ostrów Mazowiecki. They lived with their children, Kazimiera, Regina, Stanisław and Marianna, togther with Feliks’ parents, who occupied separate rooms. Feliks was also a shoemaker and Waleria a dressmaker.

Jakub Rotfeld, his daughters (Edwarda, Janina and Maria), as well as a friend by the surname of Chojnacka, came from Warsaw. In August 1942, they escaped from the ghetto and, searching for a hiding-place, they reached the vicinity of Ostrów Mazowiecki. At first, they stayed on a farm in the village of Trynosy. Later, they found themselves in Przyborów.

They all had false papers. Jakub used the name ”Jan Zalewski”. As Poles, they searched for a place to stay. Feliks’ mother, in return for payment, agreed to take them in. The Rotfeld family stayed in the grandparents’ room.

After a time, their hosts came to realise that they were Jews, when the grandmother noticed that they did not pray (as Catholics). Even though the issue of faith was a constant point of worry, the Lipiński family did not refuse to give the room to the Jews.

During their entire time in hiding, the Rotfeld family traded in meat, bought from the local farmers and sold in Warsaw. Thanks to that income, they were able to pay  for their room. Sometimes, Jakub would buy food from Waleria, sometimes he received it for free.

”If it was for something larger, then he paid a few grosze but, otherwise, he wouldn’t have to pay any money. They needed to live. They traded when the trading was good. But when the Germans took it all away (...), then they had nothing to eat”, recalls Marianna Kwiatkowska in an interview with Yad Vashem.

They remained hidden in Przyborów for nine months, until January 1945. Soon after liberation, they left and lost contact with each other. However, Jakub Rotfeld renewed contact in the 1950’s.

One of Jakub’s daughters, Stefania Szymańska, acted to grant Waleria and Marianna the title of  ”Righteous Among the Nations”.

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Bibliography

  • Michał Zaidlewicz, Interview with Marianna Kwiatkowska, 25.09.2010
  • Gutman Israel red. nacz., Księga Sprawiedliwych wśród Narodów Świata, Ratujący Żydów podczas Holocaustu, Kraków 2009