The Wiejak family

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A Story of Rescue - the Wiejak Family

Helena and Aleksander Wiejak ran a farm in Końskowola, near Puławy. They were raising three daughters. During the Nazi occupation, they extended help to four Jews - Fajga and Awigdor Mandelbaum, whom Aleksander already knew from before the War, and to a couple from Kalisz, close friends of the Mandelbaums. When, during the occupation, persecution of the Jews intensified, the Mandelbaums sent their children to Warsaw in the hope that, there, they would survive. They all perished in the ghetto. When repressions against Jews intensified in Końskowola itself, Fajga and Awigdor turned to Aleksander, asking for help. Fajga and Awigdor were joined by the Jewish husband and wife from Kalisz.

The Wiejakows took them all in and hid them in one of the farm buildings. They dug a hole in the stable, under the horse trough. Aleksander lined it with boards. Those in hiding spent two and a half years there. When Aleksander would enter the stable, he would speak a few words to the horse so that those in hiding would know that it was him, and not some stranger.

Throughout their time in hiding, Helena brought them food and cared for them. An additional problem was Fajga's state of health. Helena arranged medicines for her from a local pharmacy. Their situation was breaking Awigdor psychologically and he considered suicide. However, Aleksander gave him encouragement.

"At the same time, my father was also active in the underground", recalls the Wiejak's daughter Zofia."He belonged to the partisans, as a result of which he also had to go into hiding. The Germans raided our house many times, looking for my father. However, the Jews were never discovered."

In May 1944, Aleksander was hunted down and killed by the Germans. Under Helena's care, the four Jews in hiding survived until liberation in August 1944.