The Przetaczek family

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Story of Rescue - The Przetaczek family

Zofia and Rudolf Przetaczek lived in Wieliczka. Rudolf was a miner and worked in a salt mine. They were both active members of the Polish Socialist Party. They had social relations with Jews - there were many of them living in Wieliczka and some were also activists in PSP and other left-wing organisations.

During the German occupation, the Przetaczek family turned out to be one of the few families in Wieliczka to respond to an appeal made by the Council to Aid Jews “Żegota” to help the persecuted Jewish people. They hid four Jews.

From June 1943 until January 1945, they hid Izaak Birenbaum, Izaaka and Frida (née Katz) Elster (Alster), and Jakub Müller at their farmstead. Those people had run away from the ghetto in Cracow. They hid in a bunker dug out under the Przetaczek house. After the war, Rudolf recalled: “I had been hiding 4 Jewish people at my house in Wieliczka from the middle of 1942 until the liberation.[...] I helped them selflessly. Their upkeep was up to me almost all the time because they had not been able to take anything with them when leaving the Cracow ghetto”.“Żegota” aiding the Przetaczek family by covering some costs of maintenance of four additional people.

The hiding Jews survived until the end of German occupation. After the war, the Elsters (Alsters) moved to Belgium, Birenbaum left for Israel, and Müller moved to FRG. It is unknown whether or not they kept in touch with the people who had helped them.


  • Bartoszewski Władysław, Lewinówna Zofia, Ten jest z ojczyzny mojej, Warszawa 2007
    This publication consists of 3 parts: monographic outline of the issue of aid given to the Jews; collection of German and Polish documents concerning the histories of Jews and the aid given to them; collection of the post-war reports created by Poles and Jews about the aid.
  • 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 Rudolfa i Zofii Przetaczków, 349/24/28