The Nasierowski Family

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Story of Rescue - The Nasierowski Family

During the Nazi occupation, Leon and Janina Nasierowski and their son Zdzisław lived at 9 Kaliska Street in Warsaw.The building where they lived also accommodated a pharmaceutical company owned by Mr. Leon. Throughout World War II, all three members of the family helped the Jewish family of the Drążeks.

Samuel Drążek was the owner of the furrier’s workshop “Haute Couture” that had provided services to Janina Nasierowska since 1934. The Drążeks lived on Dzielna Street, which in October 1940 was included in the ghetto area. With each passing day, living conditions were getting worse. The Nasierowski family supplied the Drążeks with medicines and food.They passed all those things to the Jews on the premises of the courts on Leszno Street.

On May 22, 1941, Samuel and Matla Drążek became the parents of the newborn daughter – Shulamit. The Nasierowskis procured for the whole family the so called kennkartes (the basic identity documents in use during the Third Reich era).Consequently, Samuel assumed the name of Stefan Jakubowski, Matla – Maria Zawadzka, and Shulamit – Elżbieta Korecka.

At the end of May 1942, the Nasierowskis arranged for Shulamit to transport her from the ghetto to the “Aryan side” of the city. The girl escaped in a stationery transport ordered by a friend company located on the territory of the ghetto.Then, she was sent to the Stołłychwo family in Pruszków. The Nasierowskis informed the family that the fugitive is the illegitimate child of their son Zdzisław, who would cover her costs of living.

At the end of 1941, the Nasierowskis devised a plan for the Drążeks to escape from the ghetto. They rented and renovated a detached house situated by the Świder River in Józefów near Otwock. They equipped it with indispensable items and furniture. At the last meeting with the Drążeks on the premises of the courts, the Nasierowski family gave their Jewish friends tokens to a cloakroom where they had left two coats for them. Samuel and Matla removed their armbands with the Star of David in a toilet and went out on Ogrodowa Street on the "Aryan side”.A few days later they both registered themselves in the Employment Agency in Falenica as the superintendent and the housekeeper of the detached house in Józefów.

The Nasierowskis were blackmailed twice for hiding a Jewish child, but thanks to Mr. Leo’s contacts in Kripo (German Criminal Police) the blackmailers were detected and punished.

At the time of the Warsaw Uprising, the house on Kaliska Street became a defensive redoubt of the Home Army and, in effect, was razed to the ground. The Nasierowskis actively participated in the Uprising. As a result, Janina was deported to Vöhrenbach in Schwarzwald (where she worked in a military factory), while Leon – to Auschwitz. When World War II ended, exhausted and tormented, they both returned to Józefów, where they met the Drążeks and their son.

In 1946, the Drążek family together with Elżbieta (Shulamit) emigrated to Belgium, and in 1952 – to Montreal in Canada. They have maintained regular contact with the Nasierowski family. Upon their motion, Janina, Leon and Zdzisław Nasierowski were awarded the honorary title “Righteous Among the Nations”.

Other Stories of Rescue in the Area

Bibliography

  • Gutman Israel red. nacz., Księga Sprawiedliwych wśród Narodów Świata, Ratujący Żydów podczas Holocaustu, Kraków 2009
  • Archiwum Żydowskiego Instytutu Historycznego, 349, 1755