The Pysko Family

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Story of Rescue - The Pysko Family

 “Life during the occupation was different from what’s shown in the cinemas– explains Roman. – A person became acquainted with danger and stopped being afraid.”

He lived in Drohobycz with his parents and younger sister.  “Over there– he claims– there was no division, that this is a Russian, that a Jew, or that a Pole”. Over the span of years almost 50 different Jews were hidden in his home.

“At first they housed friends for a week or ten days– he tells us– to wait out the raids in the ghetto or the transports to work in Germany, and after the commotion was over they went back to their homes. In May of 1943 word got out that the Germans were getting ready to destroy the ghetto in Drohobycz.” 

They lived in a large wooden house on a concrete foundation, with a spacious garden and a large cellar. Father partitioned off a section of the cellar, installed a sink, a toilet, and put in a bunk with hay. There were two exits out of the hiding place, one through an opening hammered out in the floor of our bathroom which was covered with a wooden grate, and the other through the pigsty.

The destruction of the ghetto began in June. “It was horrible– Roman recalls. – The demolition didn’t last one day, it lasted many.”

He was 13 years old then. “People ran away, they were caught, killed”.

Our Jewish friends came to our hideout. They emerged from it over one year later, on August 8, 1944, when the Soviet armies marched in. “People were afraid to come out– he recalls. – And then they started. In the house there were only four of us, but they kept coming out, one after the other. There must have been about thirty of them.”

Bibliography

  • Archiwum Żydowskiego Instytutu Historycznego, 349, 2274
    Roman Pysko's report from 1.08.1996 and 6.12.1998
  • Jadowska Edyta, Interview withRoman Pysko , 1.05.2008
  • Gutman Israel red. nacz., Księga Sprawiedliwych wśród Narodów Świata, Ratujący Żydów podczas Holocaustu, Kraków 2009