Edward Buca's memories of his parents hiding Jews

Before the war, my parents Mieczysław and Rozalia Buca lived in Felsztyn, a village in the Lviv province with a large Jewish population. My parents worked in a military guesthouse in Truskawiec. During the war, they were hiding a Jewish family – a married couple with their daughter Sara and her grandfather – in their cellar. They did not hesitate to help them even though they struggled to maintain and take care of their own daughters born during the war, Krystyna and Janina.

Unfortunately, I do not know the name of the rescued Jews. According to my mother, they ran a stationary shop in Felsztyn. When they came to our house, they brought crayons, paints and notebooks in large numbers, which my mother tried to sell out in our neighbourhood in order to earn money to support them.

It was my father's responsibility to obtain food and medicines, needed mostly by the grandfather. He travelled to various villages so that the fact that he was buying more than usual did not cause suspicion in our neighbourhood. He also called a doctor to Felsztyn from the nearby locality of Sambor. My mother cooked by night. After dark, with the curtains drawn in the windows, my parents would often open the cellar trap door so that the Jews could go out and talk to us, at least for a while.

My eldest sister, Krystyna, can remember our mother's everyday warnings that we must not tell anyone about the dwellers of the cellar. As we were children, it seemed to us that they stayed with us for a very long time. In fact, the Jews were hiding in our house for a few months.

In 1945, Felsztyn became part of the USSR territory. My parents decided to leave for Poland and settled in Chomiąża, Lower Silesia. They never saw the family they helped out again, and sought no recognition for what they did. They were simple, unassuming people who did not look for rewards. What they kept saying was that they were glad to be able to save Jews in their home.