The Szeptycki Family

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Story of Rescue - The Szeptycki Family

In 1941, the parents of Adam Daniel Rotfeld, who was at that time only a few years old, decided to leave him in the care of Father Klemens Szeptycki – the archimandrite at a Greek Catholic Studite cloister in Uniów near Przemyślany. Outside, there was a horse-drawn cart waiting. It was the last time the boy saw his mother and father. The boy and his 11 year old sister, who was hiding out in the woods, were the only members of the family to survive the war. After a year at the cloister, Adam Daniel was baptized and received a new name.

There was an orphanage in the cloister. There were many different children staying there. The children came on the grounds of a decision made by the Metropolitan of the Greek Catholic church, Andrzej Szeptycki, who called all the cloisters which fell under his jurisdiction, to hide Jewish orphans among the Ukrainian and Polish ones. “The Metropolitan was an experienced and very wise man. He wanted to prevent pogroms against the Jews, as well as against the Poles,” Kurt Lewin, one of those who had been saved, recalled years later.

Thanks to the help of the Metropolitan these people, among others, survived the war: Lili Pohlmannwith her mother, Adam Daniel Rotfeld, Dawid Kahane’s family, the two sons of the Lwów Rabbi Ezekiel Lewin (among them, Kurt Lewin), two sons of the head Rabbi of Katowice (among them, the distinguished cardiologist – Leon Chameides).

For his actions during World War II and his martyr’s death after the war at the hands of the NKWD, the Soviet Internal Affairs Committee, the Blessed Klemens Szeptycki, was sanctifed by Pope John Paul II.

They have not been awarded the medal of the Righteous Among the Nations.

FEATURED ARTICLE

The Righteous are among us, Adam Daniel Rotfeld

Bibliography

  • Portal poświęcony osobie Metropolity Andrzeja Szeptyckiego
  • Bussgang Julian J., Metropolitan Andrei Sheptytsky and the Holocaust, Polin. Studies in Polish Jewry, vol. 26
  • Torzecki Ryszard, Metropolita Szeptycki, Więź
  • Kahane David, Lvov ghetto diary, 1990
  • Kurt I. Lewin, Przeżyłem. Saga świętego Jura spisana w 1946, Warszawa 1996