The Urzykowski Family

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Story of Rescue - The Urzykowski Family

“I was in a bookstore in 1988.  I noticed this: ‘Diary from the Warsaw Ghetto, October 1940 – January 1943,’ author, Henryk Makower. I skimmed through it – the last chapter is about us. I bought 7 copies.”

No one outside of the family knew that they hid Jews. “Why should they?”

In January 1943 he went to see Professor Paluch at the Christ Child Hospital in Warsaw who asked if they could hide a Jewish couple. “I went home, we were living in Nowa Miłosna, and told my parents. They agreed.”

He went to pick them up in Warsaw, brought them back on a train.  Henryk Makower was from Łódź, Noemi from Warsaw, they met in the ghetto, he was a doctor there.

“Some time later they saw the Germans bring a Jewish family out of a neighboring house, then they heard shots.  They wanted to leave then, but daddy didn’t let them.  They were with us for 18 months.”

Two hiding places were made in the house.  One was dug in their room: a small hole with a trap door covered by a rug.  The second, more decent one, was in the cellar under the kitchen. With double walls.

“The Germans inspected our house three times, and never found anyone.”

And anyway it didn’t seem as though they were looking for Jews, but for weapons, because they searched the pockets of the coats in the hallway.  Janusz was in the intelligence division of the Home Army, for which, following the war – he explains – he served three years in prison.

His grandson works with the anti-Nazi groupand travels throughout Poland helping to care for Jewish cemeteries.  “Once he asked, if I would risk it all again today.  I replied: ‘I only saved two people, it’s not much.’”

Other Stories of Rescue in the Area

Bibliography

  • Ema Makower
  • Archiwum Żydowskiego Instytutu Historycznego, 349, 1072
  • Gutman Israel red. nacz., Księga Sprawiedliwych wśród Narodów Świata, Ratujący Żydów podczas Holocaustu, Kraków 2009
  • Maślak Magdalena, Interview with Janusz Urzykowski, 1.03.2008