Stypulczak Helena

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Story of Rescue - Stypulczak Helena

Helena Stypulczak was an activist of the Polish left-wing youth movement. During the German occupation, apart from the underground activity, she helped Jews. She rented a room in an old country manor house in Wola Filipowska near Krzeszowice where, from June 1942 to September 1943, she hid three Jewish children.

The first child was Michał Zachaczewski (Flohr), her friend's son, who was 8 years old at that time. Helena prepared false documents for him and his mother, led them out of the Lvov Ghetto and took to Warsaw, from where she brought the boy with her to Wola Filipowska.

Halina Lachowicz (who later assumed the name Ilana Harari), a 6-year-old, was also brought from Warsaw and was introduced as Helena's niece. The youngest of the children hidden – the 19-month-old Lidia Uzwij was also a daughter of Stypulczak's friend.

In June 1943, in an apartment of mutual acquaintances, Helena met Helena Tybińska who escapeed from the Lvov Ghetto which, at that time, was being liquidated. Tybińska had no place to hide, so Helena invited her to Wola Filipowska. In her post-war report prepared for Yad Vashem, Tybińska wrote that her guardian "turned out to be a woman who wanted to save human lives, particular those of the children," whilst Stypulczak writes about her "great sentiment towards children." 

Tybińska stayed in the manor house until the beginning of Setember 1943. Then Stypulczak was arrested in Lvov. She was imprisoned first on Łąckiego Street and then she was sent to the Auschwitz concentration camp. After a year, she was moved to the women's subcamp KZ Flossenbürg in Mittweida in Saxony, where she survived until the liberation in April 1945.

All the Jewish children which Helena hid were saved. Michał was cared for by his uncle from Radość near Warsaw. Halina was accepted to the house by a childless couple of Kowal. Before Helena's arresting, Lidia was taken to Lvov by her mother. After the war, Helena Tybińska settled down in Cracow, Michał left to France, Halina to Israel, whilst Lidia probably to the USA. On 26th February 1981, the Yad Vashem Institute awarded Helena Stypulczak the title of the Righteous Among the Nations.

Bibliography

  • Archiwum Żydowskiego Instytutu Historycznego, 349, 38
  • Czerpak Stanisław, Kaniowa Maria, Kozanecki Andrzej, O ludziach i sprawie. Wspomnienia działaczy PPR z Krakowskiego (lata okupacji hitlerowskiej), Kraków 1964