Siwek Antonina

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Story of Rescue - Siwek Antonina

Prior to the war, Antonina Siwek worked as a nanny for a German family in Lvov, where she befriended a Jewish woman named Rywka Holender. “In these awful times,” Antonina remembers, “we had only each other.”

On September 7, 1942, the Lvov ghetto was closed and the two women lost contact. Later, when Rywka escaped a group being sent to a labour camp, she knocked on Antonina’s door seeking shelter. Antonina did not hesitate to help her friend, who at this time assumed the name Janina as an added precaution. She prepared a hiding place for her friend behind the wardrobe in her bedroom, where Rywka would stay whenever Antonina’s employers were home. Rywka was hidden this way for nearly two years. Antonina brought her food and offered her moral support until the Red Army’s entry into Lvov on July 19, 1944.

After the war, Rywka moved to Israel. The women have remained friends and continue to exchange letters to this day.

Bibliography

  • Gutman Israel red. nacz., Księga Sprawiedliwych wśród Narodów Świata, Ratujący Żydów podczas Holocaustu, Kraków 2009
  • Dobrosielski Paweł, Interview with Antonina Siwek, 1.01.2007