The Zak Family

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Story of Rescue - The Zak Family

When Adam Żak was asked by his friends to take in a Jewish woman who was in hiding with her little girl, he immediately told his children about it. The teenaged Hanka knew perfectly well how risky that was, but she supported her father in his decision without any hesitation.

 Thus, Sabina and Róża, citizens of Kalisz who were displaced to a ghetto in Rzeszów in 1939, turned up in the Warsaw flat of the Żak family, who became their loyal guardians. When it became too dangerous to hide an unmistakably Jewish child in the tenement house, Hanna decided to take care of her.

 She took Róża out of Warsaw to a place which seemed safer. However, they soon found out it was not so. If it had not been for Hanna’s fortitude, they would not have survived the hungry months or avoided being arrested when they were exposed.

 Róża was like a younger sister to Hanka who shared every mouthful of food with her and who protected Róża as well as she could. The little girl was totally dependent on her caretaker.

 Although there were many fearsome moments in the stories of Sabina and Róża, they both survived the World War II. A few years later they emigrated from Poland. Hanna and Róża are still good friends. 

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Bibliography

  • Archiwum Żydowskiego Instytutu Historycznego, 349, 1922
  • Mojkowski Karol, Interview with Hanna Jańczak, 1.06.2009
  • Gutman Israel red. nacz., Księga Sprawiedliwych wśród Narodów Świata, Ratujący Żydów podczas Holocaustu, Kraków 2009