Zmyslony Kazimierz

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Story of Rescue - Zmyslony Kazimierz

After their resettlement from Greater Poland to the Lublin region, the already desperate financial situation of the large Zmyślony family grew worse. Thirteen-year-old Kazimierz was forced to find employment, which he found in nearby Studzianki, working as a servant at the house of Wawrzyniec Gnat.

It was 1943, and two neighbouring Jewish families hid in Gnat’s estate: the Brands with their four children and a childless couple. The hideout was located in the barn, under the hay. Kazimierz, with the owner’s consent, brought food to the fugitives and took out their waste. After some time he was able to warn the Jews that Germans were planning a search.

“I was carrying a report to Kraśnik on horseback when I saw five horse wagons. I asked one [of the men], and he said: ‘We’re going to Studzianki, there are Jews hidden there’. When he told me, I gave it all the horse had. Half an hour later the Germans were there, and the Jews were gone. So that’s how I saved them, and they got out to the forest.”

The unnamed couple disappeared and Zmyślony never found out about their subsequent fate. The forest bunker was located eight kilometeres from Gnat’s estate, and Kazimierz would carry food for the Brands every other day. His parents did not know he was helping Jews, neither in the woods nor at the Gnats’, as they wouldn’t have allowed it out of fear for his life.

In 1944 Kazimierz joined the People’s Army. After the war the Brands left for Brasil and settled in São Paulo. The youngest of the rescued Jews, Estera, attempted to visit Poland, but she was refused entry due to lack of evidence that she was born in the country. She asked Kazimierz for help in obtaining her birth certificate, but the authorities refused to issue a copy to him.

Bibliography

  • Archiwum Żydowskiego Instytutu Historycznego, 349, 1804
  • Archiwum Żydowskiego Instytutu Historycznego, 349, 1804
  • Zenon Lisiak, Wywiad z panem Kazimierzem Zmyślonym
  • Rajkowski Jacek, Interview with Kazimierz Zmyślony, 24.04.2009