The Sikon Family

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Story of Rescue - The Sikon Family

Zofia Sikoń’s house was situated at a country road. To get there one needed to go through Łukowica, a village to the south-west of Nowy Sącz. Zofia came from Biczyce, a village located over a dozen kilometers away. She moved together with her husband, who left her later on. She managed to keep the house with the help of her children Anna and Stanisław.

Before the war, the Brandel-Buchbinder family ran a dairy in Biczyce. They had two cows and a small pasture and made butter and kosher cheese which they sold.

In the ghetto in Nowy Sącz, the Brandel-Buchbinder sibling made a living by doing some cleaning works.

When, in August 1942, the Nazis started the dissolution of the ghetto, murdering on a mass scale and transporting Jews to camps, Helena and Genowefa, two sisters, escaped disguised as peasant women; their brother Kazimierz escaped from the labor camp in Chełmiec and the other brother, miraculously, also managed to get out. They turned for help to their neighbors, the Ruchałas, with whom, before the war, they shared in half one house. Jan Ruchała took the escapees to his cousin, Zofia Sikoń.

Those who were rescuing and those who were hiding lived in extreme poverty. The harvest from a one-hectare field, including cereals, potatoes, and cabbage, were not enough. The Sikońs accepted the help of their neighbors; sometimes it happened that they would steal chicken; in summer, they would pick up forest fruit. Anna, who worked in the field for one German living in the village, would take anything that was possible. The Jews helped in the homestead, but they tried not to stand out too much. In the farmyard they prepared two hiding places, a bunker in a storeroom next to the kitchen, and a shelter inside the cottage.

Genowefa died of tuberculosis in March 1943. She got cold when she was out waiting for the end of the unexpected visit of a member of the committee of Łukowica’s inhabitants cooperating with the Germans. Her body was buried secretly in the woods.

The sibling left the hiding place in the second half of January 1945. After years they migrated to Australia and Canada.

Zofia remained in Łukowica, the children took up residence in Nowy Sącz, Stanisław worked as a mechanic, and Anna became a dressmaker.