The Sambora Family

enlarge map

Story of Rescue - The Sambora Family

In the summer and fall of 1942 the Nazis were taking Jews from Jodłowa- a town in dębicki county which is today’s podkarpackie province- to a nearby pzeczycki forest, where mass executions took place. In November of the same year, Malka Fenichel together with 7-year-old son Abram and 12-year-old niece Lea Charasz, managed to escape and return to her hometown. She asked for help Ludwik and Anna Sambora who had a farm in Jodłowa. Malka was Anna’s neighbor and a school friend. Before the Second World War Malka’s family managed a textile-shoe shop in the village. 

This is how Anna’s daughter – Teresa Sokołowska who was 12 at the time, remembers that evening: “The weather was awful, it was raining. My dad was going to visit his mom, in a different village, because that was where we lived, Dębowa was connected to Jodłowa. So he was on his way to see his mother and he met this lady close to our house. (…) (Mom) didn’t know what to do, how to behave in such a situation. But they stayed till the morning.” This is what Teresa thinks of her parents’ decision:”They said yes (…) It wasn’t nice to throw them out in that cold. It was November, then December; snow, cold. And where could we have sent them, to whom? It is impossible to imagine. How? Just push them out of the door and say , without thinking what could happen to them? Good that my father was so religious, very strongly, and he had this mercy and my mother also started to give in, she didn’t oppose and did not want to hurt anyone. And she felt that if she had been in their shoes it would have been as miserable situation for her.”

During the first two months Malka, Lea, and Abram were hiding in the family’s barn. Later Ludwik Sambora built them a little bunker, just behind his house. It was a small building with low-ceilings in which you couldn’t really stand up, with no access to light. Malka, Abram, and Lea slept on heaps of straw. The Sambora’s would provide them with food. Anna’s children from her first marriage: Eugeniusz Walichnowski and Teresa Walichnowska-Sokołowska used to help with caring for the refugees. Malka together with her son and niece were hiding in Jodłowa till January, 1945. 

After the Second World War, Malka, Lea, and Abram moved to Tarnów. They were visiting the Sambora family till 1946 and helping in caring for Teresa who got wounded just before the military activities were over. Before moving to Israel, Malka Fenichel gave Ludwik Sambora the house that she had inherited after her parents. Malka stayed in touch with Anna via mail till her last days. 

More

Bibliography

  • Gutman Israel red. nacz., Księga Sprawiedliwych wśród Narodów Świata, Ratujący Żydów podczas Holocaustu, Kraków 2009
  • Aneta Ceglarek, Interview with Teresa Sokołowska, 21.09.2010
  • Archiwum Żydowskiego Instytutu Historycznego, 349, 1823