Story of Rescue - The Szkop Family | Polscy Sprawiedliwi

The Szkop Family

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Story of Rescue - The Szkop Family

During the occupation, Zofia Szkop, née Antczak, widow of Bolesław Antczak (died in 1939), lived with her children in the village of Nacpolsk Nowy (during the war its official name was Kolonia Nacpolsk). She owned 2,5ha of land and made a living out of cultivating it. Her brother, Franciszek Antczak, lived in the nearby village of Boguszyn with his wife Stanisława, née Majewska. It was most probably November 1942 when two Jewish men sought shelter in Zofia Szkop's household. As it turned out, the two men – Mojżesz Kuperman and Josek Lewin – had escaped the Wyszogród Ghetto. They presumably had never had any contact with the Antczak and the Szkop families before the war. Jadwiga Szkop, Zofia's daughter, told the story as follows: “A hiding place for the Jews was created in the barn – we dug a big cavity which almost looked like a real room. The guests had their own couch and we gave them everything they needed. They often came into our house.” The men in hiding often spent evenings in the Szkop family's house, they helped with small house and farm works, and sometimes brought food to the house and illegally slaughtered animals with their rescuers. The people actively engaged in providing aid to the Jews were Zofia, her son Kazimierz, her daughter Jadwiga, and brother Franciszek Antczak.

The two men remained in hiding until March 1944. They were discovered accidentally when Mojżesz went to Wyszogród to visit his friends. Unfortunately, on his way back he was caught by German military policemen. Having been blackmailed and tortured, he eventually revealed his hiding place. On 2 March 1944, Germans stationing in Płock inspected the Szkop household, found the hideout in the barn and arrested Josek Lewin and Zofia Szkop. The woman was sent to the prison in Płock. Jadwiga and Kazimierz managed to escape. About three weeks later, on 24 March 1944, Germans came back to the house to photograph the hideout. They subsequently arrested Kazimierz Szkop, who was home at the time. Later in March 1944, they also apprehended Franciszek Antczak.

The arrested members of the Szkop and Antczak families were tried for providing help for Jews during the occupation. On 26 July 1944, the Ciechanów Sondergericht (Special Court) sentenced Zofia Szkop to three years in a penal camp. She was sent to the Frauenzuchthaus und Sicherungsanstalt Women's Prison in Fordon near Bydgoszcz. She survived the occupation period and died in the 1960s. Her son Kazimierz was sentenced to death and, on 6 August 1944, sent to the investigatory jail in Kaliningrad (East Prussia), where he was executed three months later. Franciszek Antczak was sent to the prison in Płock on 27 March 1944. A month later, he was transferred to the Stutthof concentration camp. He probably died before the end of the war.

On 2 March 1944, Germans shot Mojżesz Kuperman when he tried to escape, while Josek Lewin managed to flee the convoy. He remained in hiding until the end of the occupation. After the war, he moved to the USA, but he still sent letters to the Szkop family.

Bibliography

  • Archiwum Żydowskiego Instytutu Historycznego, 349/24/2626
  • Archiwum Instytutu Pamięci Narodowej, Zespół Gestapo Zichenau - kartoteka osobowa, 148/64