The Rogozinski Family

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Story of Rescue - The Rogozinski Family

The Rogoziński family lived in Sosnowiec before the World War II, at the corner of Harcerska and Szpitalna Streets. Pelagia Huczak – the adopted daughter of Salomea and Jana Rogoziński, worked in a Jewish shoe-maker’s workshop belonging to the company Lajzerowicz - Szpringer. After the “Aryanization”  of the company carried out by the Nazis she was appointed the new manager of the workshop.

In 1942 the Nazis established a ghetto in Sosnowiec. Pelagia helped the family of her former employers- the Szpringers - Szlomo, Pinchas and their brother in law Majer Borenstein found a shelter in the house of the Rogoziński family. „My sister brought them in, our parents agreed to let them stay” – says Pelagia’s brother Wiktor in an interview given to the Museum of the History of Polish Jews.

Then he says: „As we lived near military warehouses patrols of Germans went to and from all the time so we could not keep them for a long time, they were afraid to stay anyway. Pinchas and Borenstein stayed only several weeks, then my sister found another place for them, somewhere in the country. It was all done in secret, it was better not to know too much: in case of snag you didn’t know anything. And they went away after two- three weeks”.

Until the liberation in January 1945 Szlomo stayed in the attic in Szpitalna Street. Rogoziński recalls: „There was a wooden partition which looked like a wall, the boards were covered with some cement. You could move the boards and get in there. [The room] was 1.5 meters wide and 2-3 meters long. It could not be to big not to arise suspicions. (…) [Szlomo] from time to time got out at night, but he usually stayed in his room. He could not walk around too freely as if Germans happened to come in  would be the end, we could all go under the wall”.

Szlomo Szpringer’s wife and his 5-year- old son Wolf remained in the ghetto. Pelagia managed to take out the child in August 1943. He stayed with the Rogoziński family for some time. Then Pelagia found another shelter for him by a family which was paid for taking care of the boy till the end of the occupation. She paid with her own savings and with the money she got from selling the Szpringers’ jewels.

Szlomo, Pinchas, Mejer and Wolf survived the war. In 1947 Pelagia Huczak and Szlomo Szpringer got married, and in 1950  they went to Israel together. Majer Borenstein also emigrated to Israel, and it was him who applied to the Yad Vashem Institute to grant the Rogoziński family the medal of the Righteous Among the Nations.

  

Bibliography

  • Grynberg Michał, Księga Sprawiedliwych, Warszawa 1993

    The lexicon includes the stories of Poles honoured with the title of Righteous Among the Nations in the years 1963-1989. The list of entries is preceded by a preface by Icchak Arad and Chaim CheferThe Righteous of the World.

  • Strączek Ignacy, Interview with Wiktor Rogoziński, 13.05.2009
  • Gutman Israel red. nacz., Księga Sprawiedliwych wśród Narodów Świata, Ratujący Żydów podczas Holocaustu, Kraków 2009
  • Red., Rogozińska Maria, „Gazeta Wyborcza-Kraków”, nr 90