The Milkowski Family

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Story of Rescue - The Milkowski Family

”Frost, winter, and suddenly a neighbour comes to my mother and says, ‘Listen, listen, somewhere over there (…) is some Jewish child.’ I suppose she is Jewish ....”, so begins the story of Leontyna Leśniewicz from Koczary near Drohiczyn.

Found nearby, this Jewish child was the very young Sara. No one knew where she came from and who her parents were. She, herself, said that the people who were looking after her told her to go into the forest to meet her mother there. She went.

The ”mother”, who met the girl was Bronisława Miłkowska, who already had eight children. The woman took the freezing girl in her arms and cared for her until the end of the Second World War. The presence in her home of such a number of children, plus the proximity in age of Leontyna and Sara (now called Zosia), helped to diminish neighbors’ curiosity. Hiding places in the house enabled them to hide the child from the Germans.

After the War, despite the insistence of Jewish organizations, Bronisława did not want to return the girl. When, finally, Zosia was taken from the Miłkowski’s by force, in her letters, Bronisława and Adolf continued to remain her ”mum and dad”. Sara-Zosia maintained contact with the Miłkowski family for the rest of her life.

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Bibliography

  • Czyżewska Anna, Interview with Leontyna Leśniewicz, 29.04.2009
  • Gutman Israel red. nacz., Księga Sprawiedliwych wśród Narodów Świata, Ratujący Żydów podczas Holocaustu, Kraków 2009