The Patrzylas family

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Story of Rescue - The Patrzylas family

Franciszka Patrzylas and her sons, Józef and Czesław with his wife Julianna, lived in the village of Kolonia Sasin near Bełżyce in the Lublin area before the war. They lived a modest life and made their living mostly by working the land.

The Patrzylas family could not stand idly by and watch the tragic fate of Jewish people during the German occupation. Initially, they would help fugitives from the nearby labour camps who ended up at their farmstead. After the war, Józef recalled: “We had been hiding several Jewish people in the outbuildings belonging to myself and my brother in the years between 1941 and 1944.” Such people would stay with them for a short period of time and they would receive a meal and the necessary clothing. They would then leave the farm in search of their relatives and another hiding place. Fearing lest their activity should be reported to the authorities and lest the Germans should come for an inspection, the Patrzylas family built several hiding places in their outbuildings and concealed them well.

Starting from January 1944 and until 27 July 1944, members of the Pres family were continuously in hiding with the Patrzylas family: Szlomo (aged around 50) and his sons Mojżesz (aged around 28) and Chaim (aged around 14) after their escape from the forced labour camp in Budzyń near Kraśnik. Szlomo was a shoemaker and he had met the Patrzylas family before the outbreak of the war. Only Franciszka, her two sons, and her daughter-in-law knew about the hiding Jews. In order to ensure safety, particular attention was paid to making sure that the Pres family remained inside their hiding places when a neighbour paid a visit to the farm of the Patrzylas family. After the war, Józef recalled: “We were not trying to brag about hiding Jews at our farm. On the contrary, we maintained strict secrecy. We kept utter and complete confidentiality and never let strangers in on our secret. It was thanks to this that our family avoided repressions and persecution.” The Patrzylas family provided the people whom they hid with food, clothes, and bedding and they tried to bolster their spirits when they faltered.

The Pres family managed to see the end of German occupation. Szlomo died soon after the end of the war. Mojżesz emigrated to Israel in 1950. Chaim also left Poland to settle in the FRG. They intermittently communicated with members of the Patrzylas family.

Bibliography

  • Gutman Israel red. nacz., Księga Sprawiedliwych wśród Narodów Świata, Ratujący Żydów podczas Holocaustu, Kraków 2009
  • Archiwum Żydowskiego Instytutu Historycznego, Dział odznaczeń Yad Vashem. Dokumentacja sprawy Franciszki i Józefy Patrzylas, 349/24/903