The Machul Family

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Story of Rescue - The Machul Family

In early fall 1942, two Jews – Jankiel Kiwa from the nearby Strzyżowice and a Jewish woman, who was probably his wife – appeared in the Machul household located in Cezaryn in Puławy county in the Lublin voivodeship. They had previously hidden, together with six other Jews (among them Kiwa’s sister, Balka) in a dug out near the Wieprz river until they had been discovered and the majority of them murdered by the Germans. Jan and Feliksa Machul and their daughter Teodora decided to help the escapees by giving them shelter in the barn and providing them with food.

At the beginning of July 1943, Kiwa left the hiding place and headed in the direction of Strzyżowice in order to buy additional food. That night, an armed German patrol appeared at the Machuls’ household. According to the Machuls’ daughter and their neighbors, Kiwa was most likely caught and tortured. He disclosed his hiding place under duress. As a result of revision of the household, the Germans discovered his female partner in the barn. In front of Teodora, her father and two other Jews were taken to the nearby forest and shot to death. His wife Feliksa managed to escape and hide in a field near the household.

Jan Machul’s body was transferred to a nearby cemetery and buried there. Till this day, the two Jews who were murdered together with Jan lay in an unmarked grave in the vicinity of the Cezaryn village.     

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Bibliography

  • Pilichowski Czesław red., Obozy hitlerowskie na ziemiach polskich 1939-1945, Warszawa 1979
  • Madajczyk Czesław, Polityka III Rzeszy w okupowanej Polsce, Warszawa 1970
  • Krzysztof Banach, Interview with Teodora Wojewoda, 30.10.2010
  • Archiwum Żydowskiego Instytutu Historycznego, 349, 1554