Mieczyslaw Zawadzki

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Story of Rescue - Mieczyslaw Zawadzki

Father Zawadzki was ordained as priest at the age of 22. He was a gifted and ambitious clergyman who paid great attention to his faithful. On 30th April 1938 he appointed parish priest of the Holy Trinity parish in Będzin where he remained until December 1970.

At the beginning of World War II, Father Zawadzki helped rescue some of the city’s Jewish inhabitants. In the evening of 8th September 1939, the Germans set fire to the Będzin synagogue in which Jews had assembled to observe the Sabbath. The fire also enveloped nearby buildings and burned for many hours. During that time, Jews who had managed to escape from the burning buildings and synagogue poured into the street near the church seeking sanctuary. Father Zawadzki came to their rescue. He opened the gate leading up to Góra Zamkowa, thereby allowing the targets of the German aggression the opportunity to escape into hiding. There they would be safe.

In 2007, Father Mieczysław Zawadzki was posthumously honoured with the title of Righteous Among the Nations. It is not known exactly how many Jews he saved, nor what was their subsequent fate.