Walczyszyn Franciszka

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Story of Rescue - Walczyszyn Franciszka

Before the war,Franciszka Walczyszyn ran a household in the village of Kraczewnear Zamość. During the occupation, i.e. from October 1942 until the liberation of the region in summer 1944, she provided the Jewish family of the Zouers, who were hiding nearby, with food. The family included Aaron Zouer and his three children: Hirsz, Icchak and Miriam. Only two of them, Hirsz and Icchak, lived to see the end of the war.

Before the war, Aaron Zouer, his wife Malka Sima and their eight children lived in Komarów near Zamość. Aaron was a tailor by profession. He also ran a shop, where the inhabitants of the town and nearby villages, among them the Walczyszyn family, did the shopping.

During the German occupation the Zouers were driven out and put in the ghetto. Only four of them survived its liquidation in October 1942. They hid in a cave in the forest near Kraczew. Then they turned for help to Franciszka Walczyszyn, who provided the Jews with food and kept it a secret even from her own children.

In April 1943 both Aaron and Miriam were murdered, probably by a Pole. After this event, Icchak and Hirsz found a shelter in a small pit, which was dug in the field to keep potatoes in it. They lived here for nine months, but their presence was finally detected by the villagers at the beginning of 1944 and the fugitives had to leave their hideout. From that time until the liberation they wandered about in the vicinity, each night spending in a different shelter. “And so the whole village knew that we were snooping around there. But that lady kept on giving us food. That is why I now feel morally indebted to her” – emphasizes Zvi Sohar in his interview for the Museum of the History of Polish Jews.

When the war ended, both brothers departed for Israel. In the 1990s they contacted the children of the late Franciszka Walczyszyn. In 2010, on the basis of the proposal put forward by the family of the Righteous, supported by the testimony of Zvi Sohar, Franciszka Walczyszyn was awarded the title of the Righteous among the Nations.

Bibliography

  • Ewa Opawska, Interview with Zvi Sohar, 22.05.2010