The Mikulski Family

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The story of the Mikulski family

Jan Mikulski was a ranger in the forests of the Lubelski Province. Together with his wife, Melania and their three children - Jadwiga, Danuta and Jerzy – they lived in a forester’s lodge near Biłgoraj. In 1942, in the days following Easter, Danuta  spent the night with friends in the town. The next day, she witnessed the beginning of ”Operation Reinhard” by the Germans.

Rywka Weinberg managed to get herself out of Biłgoraj and reached the forester’s lodge. The Mikulski’s, over a period of time, were already helping  a girl hidden in the forest. Now, they took both girls into their home and arranged a hiding-place for them in the cowshed. The Yad vashem Encyklopedia states that the other girl hidden was Lila Stern, who escaped from the ghetto with Rywka.

Later, Jan and Melania hid another three people – members of the Rozenbaum family: Bencion, Chaim and Perla Kenig [or Twerski, discrepancies in the sources – editor]. The men dug and set up a shelter in the farm buildings – a hole shored up with planks, with a trapdoor in the centre.

According to Danuta, the Rozenbaum family remained in this hiding-place for almost two years – until the end of the War; according to the Encyklopedia, after a year, all five hidden people joined a company of partisans. Both sources say that Chaim joined the Polish Army. He died in battle near Kołobrzeg.

After the War, Rywka and the other hidden girl found their way into a Jewish orphange. Later, the moved to the USA. Bencion and Perla settled in Wrocław, and later emigrated to Israel. All of them maintained contact with the Mikulski family.

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Bibliography

  • Biłgoraj - historia
  • Gutman Israel red. nacz., Księga Sprawiedliwych wśród Narodów Świata, Ratujący Żydów podczas Holocaustu, Kraków 2009
  • Kawa Magdalena, Interview with Danuta Mikulska-Renk, 3.09.2007