The Zorawski Family

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Story of Rescue - The Zorawski Family

Henryka Żórawska was the daughter of Ewa and Andrzej Bytnar of Lublin. Before the war she worked as a teacher in the town of Kraśnik, some 30 miles from her hometown. She lived there with two other teachers: an assimilated Jewess named Fryderyka Safir and a Pole, Mieczysława Kołczewska. The three women became good friends and kept in touch even when Henryka moved back to live with her parents.

Henryka married Wacław Żórawski soon after and began living at No. 59, Krakowskie Przedmieście. Not long after war broke out, Fryderyka came to see them. When the Germans requisitioned the Żórawskis’ apartment as living quarters for their own people, the couple moved back in with Henryka’s parents, taking their Jewish friend with them.

Fryderyka lived with them for two years and initially the farmers didn’t even conceal the fact of her existence. However, Nazi anti-Semitic propaganda intensified and this, together with the threat of a death sentence for anyone helping Jews, meant that people became increasingly suspicious. Henryka began to fear they would be reported.

In 1942, Fryderyka decided to find another hideout. She left Lublin for Tarnopol, and then – using documents in the name of Teresa Michalewska, procured for her by Mieczysława – she arrived in Krakow. There she found work with Countess Bistingowa as a nursemaid.

She waited out the end of the war in Krakow, and then emigrated from Poland. She has remained in close contact with the Żórawskis. 

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Bibliography

  • Madała K., Interview with Henryka Żórawska, 20.01.1995
  • Gutman Israel red. nacz., Księga Sprawiedliwych wśród Narodów Świata, Ratujący Żydów podczas Holocaustu, Kraków 2009