Wionczek Mieczyslaw

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Story of Rescue - Wionczek Mieczyslaw

Mieczysław Wionczek was born in Warsaw, where he lived together with his parents and three siblings during the Nazi occupation. In 1941 he fell in love with a twenty-year-old Jewish girl named Teresa Idzikowska, who was hiding on “the Aryan side” of the city. Since that moment he began to help his fiancée and her family. His own family accepted the future daughter-in-law without the slightest reservations and provided her and her relatives with spiritual and material support.

Mieczysław and Teresa got married on Easter Monday of 1942 in St. John’s Cathedral in Warsaw. Teresa Idzikowska’s family, although they were in hiding all the time, openly took part in the marriage ceremony. Among them were Teresa’s mother Michalina Idzikowska and her step-sister Romualda Perec née Krupkawith a six-year-old daughter Antonina. Their presence was to ward off any possible suspicions in relation to the bride. The young couple settled at 4 Franciszkańska Street.

In 1943 little Antonina came down with polio, but Mieczysław found a place for her in the Ursuline Convent at 30 Tamka Street. In July of the same year the Wionczeks family hired a nineteen-year-old housemaid, although they were perfectly aware of the fact that she was a Jew. Krystyna Kozłowska (daughter of Matilda née Imaldand Jakub Flamenb) stayed with them until the outbreak of the Warsaw Uprising. She then joined the Polish Army and covered the route from Warsaw to Berlin.

“Mr. and Mrs. Wionczek were fully aware of my Jewish origin and knew that they were running the risk of being arrested or even killed from the Nazis’ hands. To this day I have the highest admiration for those (…) people and I will always keep in my memory and be deeply grateful for what they did for me” – wrote Krystyna Prutkowska in her testimony for Yad Vashem.

Teresa, together with Mieczysław’s younger brother called Roman, began to help some Jewish children kept by the Ursulines in the Convent at 30 Tamka Street by providing them with packages of food and clothes.

After the outbreak of the Warsaw Uprising Mieczysław decided to hide his wife, who was then pregnant, and other Jewish friends (among them little Antonina’s parents – Gustaw and Romualda Perec) in the Ursuline Convent. When the Uprising ended, he and the nuns moved to Ożarów­­ and then to the convent in Zakopane. Katarzyna, Wionczeks’ daughter, was born already “on the way” to the new refuge.

After World War II Mieczysław, Teresa and their daughter departed to Mexico. Soon they were joined by Teresa’s mother and brother named Jerzy, who had survived through a few Nazi concentrations camps.

Krystyna Kozłowska married Józef Prutkowski, a well-known Polish satirist. They settled on Dąbrowskiego Street in Warsaw. Antonina also stayed in Poland – upon her marriage she adopted the name Dworakowska. To this day the families of the Rescued have maintained close and cordial contact with the Wionczek family.

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