The Tyrcz Family

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Story of Rescue - The Tyrcz Family

During World War II, Sebastian and Anna Tyrcz ran a farm in Futory, near Zborowa, in what is today Ukraine. They shared their home with their son Michał, his wife Apolonia, their three children and their other son Stefan.

Sebastian Tyrcz knew Leon Kronisch from before the War – they did business together. When the Zborowa ghetto was being liquidated, Sebastian Tyrcz helped the Kronisch family to get to the “Aryan side”. From April 1943 to September 1944, the Tyrcz family hid the Kronisch family together with their cousins, Lena Adler, Rachela, Ira and Irving Gerber, plus ten year old Zysio Berger. Sebastian and Michał Tyrcz prepared a hiding place for them in the form of a bunker. The hiding place was fifteen minutes down the road from the house. Every day, the Tyrcz family provided those in hiding with food wrapped in newspaper, the reading of which was one way to spend time in hiding.

One day, out of fear of the suspicions of neighbours, Ira Gerber and Zysio Berger left the bunker. The result was tragic. The Germans found and shot them. The remainder of the family spent the night in the barn attic. The next day, they returned to the hiding place in the bunker. All seven survived the War.

After the War, the Kronisch family emigrated to Canada. Thanks to their help at a later time, Stefan and Apolonia also left for Canada and settled there. During the ceremony in which the Tyrcz family was honoured with the title of Righteous Among the Nations, Stefan Tyrcz spoke of what motivated them to help the Kronisch family. He said, “We were good friends. We understood the risks, but that didn’t stop us from providing help”. 

Bibliography

  • Gutman Israel red. nacz., Księga Sprawiedliwych wśród Narodów Świata, Ratujący Żydów podczas Holocaustu, Kraków 2009