The Szacki Family

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Story of Rescue - The Szacki Family

“This story has no drama – there were no denouncers, no raids. There was just the steady fear, that someone might come. But nobody did. The threat was constant, but it was, above all, psychological.”

Things could have been much worse. The Szackis were sheltering a twenty-year-old woman named Irena Hollaender (née Kowalska, later Century after her second husband) and her five-year-old daughter. Irena was in the advanced stages of pregnancy. The Szackis’ neighbors and visitors were told that Irena was a cousin, displaced from territories that had been annexed into the Third Reich. It was a convincing story given Irena’s “good looks,” which didn’t reveal her as a Jew. Irena stayed at the Miodowa St. home of the teenage Jerzy and his mother, Barbara, from mid-1942 until the outbreak of the Warsaw Uprising. After the fall of the Uprising, she and Barbara left Warsaw with the rest of the displaced population. After the war, she moved to Łódź with her husband. From there, they left for Israel in 1946. The families have been in contact ever since, and lately their relationship has been renewed. Professor Szacki plans to visit Irena and her family in Israel. 

Jerzy Szacki along with his mother Barbara was awarded with Righteous Among the Nations Medal in 2004.

Other Stories of Rescue in the Area


  • Archiwum Żydowskiego Instytutu Historycznego, 349, 2633