The Wislinski Family

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Story of Rescue - The Wislinski Family

In the spring of 1942, the Germans began extermination of the Jewish population of Bełżyce, a small town near Lublin. Few were able to escape and go into hiding.

Szlomo and Masza Goldiner were in a particularly hard situation– Masza had just given birth to a baby girl. Together with their parents, Masza’s brother Szmuel Ferszman, the Goldiners hid in a pit beneath a Polish family’s barn, but the odds that a newborn would survive these conditions were slim. It happened that Szmuel, who was known in the area as Berek-the-Baker, knew the family who had been issued the Goldiners’ farm by the occupying government. They were honest people named Stanisław and Helena Wiśliński and they did not deny the Goldiners help, nor did they want anything in return.

The Wiślińskis had six children of their own. The eldest, a girl named Zofia, was twelve and the youngest was not even one year old. Until the summer of 1944, when the Soviets entered the town, the Wiśliński family took care of little Rywka Goldiner, whom they nicknamed Jagódka, as if she was one of their own.

During the occupation the Wiślińskis also employed a young Jewish woman named Pola Gruber, who was using the false name of Zofia Wójcik. The Polish family did not pry into the woman’s past but simply offered her shelter.

After the war, Szmuel Fersztman wanted to give the Wiślińskis his house in Lublin, but the family did not accept the gift.

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Bibliography

  • Czajkowski Tomasz, Inerview with Marianna Turek, a sister of Zofia Bagan, 1.01.2007
  • Mazurczak Katarzyna, Interview with Zofia Bagan, 7.10.2008