The Wozny Family

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Story of Rescue - The Wozny Family

The Woźny family ran a homestead and a shop in Markowce near Sanok. Thanks to the mutual business, they developed an acquaintance with the Jewish family of the Kornreichs, who had a shop in a neighbouring village – Dąbrówka.

In the interwar years, the Woźny family were ostracized by their neighbours due to the fact that Michał Woźny’s wife was a Greek Catholic. For this reason, according to Andrzej, son of Michał: “My father knew the life, and he understood the Jewish situation, so later when he spoke to me, he said that we should do something to help them survive.”

In 1941 the Nazis set up a ghetto in Sanok and the repressions towards Jews escalated. The Kornreichs “tried to find someone who would offer them a shelter and whom they could trust, and they chose us” – recalls Andrzej, who was 17 years old at that time. The Woźny family decided to hide Mendel, Mejer and their mother in a secret hiding place near the house. The boys were of the same age as Andrzej, who never learnt about the whereabouts of their father.

Maria Woźna prepared food for the fugitives while Andrzej’s task was to transfer letters from Mendel and Mejer to their relatives living in the ghetto.

In this way the Kornreich family lived in Markowce to see the end of the war. Their mother finally died in Poland, but the Kornreich boys emigrated to Israel. Although they left Markowce right after the liberation without saying goodbye and consequently lost contact with their rescuers, in the 1990s Mendel renewed the friendship with the Woźnys, while Mejer’s daughter put forward a proposal to award the Woźny family the honorary title and medal of Righteous Among the Nations. 

Bibliography

  • Fundacja Ochrony Dziedzictwa Żydowskiego, Szlak Chasydzki w Sanoku
  • Gutman Israel red. nacz., Księga Sprawiedliwych wśród Narodów Świata, Ratujący Żydów podczas Holocaustu, Kraków 2009
  • Gospodarczyk Hanna, Interview with Andrzej Woźny, 1.05.2009