Walewska Maria

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Story of Rescue - Walewska Maria

Before the war, she was going to Warsaw to work for Józef and Stefa Rosenzweig – as a nanny she took care of their son, Szmuel who was called Ludwik. Then she moved to Nowy Kawęczyn, a village near Skierniewice. During the occupation the Rosenzweigs got in touch with her: they were sent to Warsaw and they wanted to save their boy. Maria agreed to take the boy and returned to the countryside with him. Ever since she was introducing him as his relative.

She was taking Szmuel to the church in Stara Rawa, she sent him to school. He had blond hair and blue eyes. He was slowly getting used to the country life and the new identity. He did not know what was happening with his parents. One day, a Wehrmacht officer was passing by in the village. Szmuel was playing together with other children. The German started treating them with candies. At one point, he glanced at the boy and said: “Jude”. Everyone was petrified. “I have also left three kids at home”, he said and went away.

Ludwik lived to see the entry of the Red Army. Soon after the war, he was collected from Kawęczyn by a representative of the Central Committee of Polish Jews. He landed řrst in Marseille, and then in Palestine. Also the boy’s mother, Stefa, who survived the Shoah, went there. Due to her traumatic experience she was not able to take care of her child. She committed suicide.

Szmuel remained in a kibbutz and started a family. In 2004 he came to Poland, he visited Warsaw and then went to Auschwitz. A few years later, Szmuel’s daughter-in-law came to Nowy Kawęczyn and visited Maria Walewska’s grave in Żyrardów.