The Potrzebowski Family

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Story of Rescue - The Potrzebowski Family

In 1930, Jan and Natalia Potrzebowski, together with their daughters Krystyną (later Kozłowska-Potrzebowska) and Helena, resided in Warsaw. Jan was caretaker of a tenement building in suburban Śniadecki Street.

During the time of the occupation, many Jews found shelter in this building. Potrzebowski hid them in his own apartment and sought shelter for them with his relatives or with residents of his building. He also prepared a hiding-place under the elevator for use in times of danger.

After the War, he recalled, “I agreed to help because I sympathised with them and I saw how they in danger”.

Jan Potrzebowski made contact with a member of the Jewish National Committee underground in Warsaw, Natalia Mochorowska. Through her, seven people arrived at Śniadecki Street. Ghetto escapees also reached the caretaker with the help of his neighbour, Mr. Jarkowski. In the Potrzebowski apartment, Mochorowska met Dawid Guzik, finance director of the American-Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (Joint) In Poland.

After the War, the Potrzebowski family remained in close contact with the majority of those Jews whom they had rescued.

Other Stories of Rescue in the Area

Bibliography

  • Jadwiga Rytlowa, Interview with Krystyna Kozłowska, 8.06.2009
  • Engelking Barbara, Leociak Jacek, Getto warszawskie. Przewodnik po nieistniejącym mieście, Warszawa 2001

    The publication carefully reconstructs the non-existent Jewish quarter in Warsaw. The authors put emphasis on the description of everyday life of the ghetto.

  • Archiwum Żydowskiego Instytutu Historycznego, 349, 205
  • Gutman Israel red. nacz., Księga Sprawiedliwych wśród Narodów Świata, Ratujący Żydów podczas Holocaustu, Kraków 2009