The Szczesny Family

enlarge map

Story of Rescue - The Szczesny Family

Before the Second World War the Szczęsny family lived in the village of Klembów near Wołomin, 35 km to the east of Warsaw. In February 1943 Abram and Rachela Sztarkier hid on their farm, on the outskirts of the village.

The Jewish couple had escaped from the Wołomin ghetto just before its liquidation in October 1942. At first, they were hiding in the forest, starving. They did not have any savings because they handed over all their money to a man from Wołomin, who agreed to give shelter to their child. They fell victim to a fraud – the man returned their son to the German police, thus condemning him to death.

When the Szczęsnys realized that there were exhausted people hiding in their barn, they fed them and agreed to help them. Kazimierz Szczęsny, who was 18 years old at that time, recalls saying to them: “You will eat what we all eat”. He believes that compassion was the reason why the Szczęsnys made this decision.

For a year and a half, until the Soviet Army entered, the Jews stayed in a shelter in the Szczęsny family barn. The hiding place was located in a hole under the floor, covered with boards and hay. At night, Abram sometimes went out, while Rachela never left the shelter. Because she did not walk, she lost the use of her legs and after the end of the war she was hospitalized and regained the use of her legs.

After the war, the rescued left to Łódź. They had a daughter. In 1958 they emigrated to Israel. They remained in contact with the Szczęsnys for the rest of their lives.

Other Stories of Rescue in the Area

Bibliography

  • Archiwum Żydowskiego Instytutu Historycznego, 349, 487
  • Gutman Israel red. nacz., Księga Sprawiedliwych wśród Narodów Świata, Ratujący Żydów podczas Holocaustu, Kraków 2009