The Orczykowski Family

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Story of Rescue - The Orczykowski Family

The Orczykowski family (Józefa, Antoni and their son Zenon) and Helena Politańskahad been neighbours before the war, living in the same tenement house in Katowice.
After the Germans came and Silesia was incorporated into the Reich, Helena was taken to one of the camps. Luckily, she was able to escape. Zenon recalls that she accomplished this disguised as a Red Cross nurse.

In her ensuing plight, she turned to her former neighbours for help, and in 1943 she began hiding in the Orczykowskis’ apartment. Though they were aware of the risk involved in helping a Jew, they welcomed Helena under their roof and took good care of her.

For a short time in 1943, they also hid Helena’s nephew, Motek Krell. In 1944 – they also hid Regina Sokołowska, a Pole active in the AK and wanted by the Germans.

Helena Politańska was the only member of her family to survive the war. A few years later, she immigrated to Israel. In 1998 the Orczykowskis were pronounced Righteous Among the Nations.


  • Dopieralska Magdalena, Interview with Zenon Orczykowski, 1.01.2007
  • Archiwum Żydowskiego Instytutu Historycznego, 349, 686
  • Gutman Israel red. nacz., Księga Sprawiedliwych wśród Narodów Świata, Ratujący Żydów podczas Holocaustu