Memories of My Father Michał Dąbrowski

From stories that my father, Michał Dąbrowski, told, he valued his work with the Jews. He stressed that to do that, all that was need was respect for others, irrespective of their origins. He remembered that, before the War, he had been helped by Jews.

When German occupation and persecution began, he fictitiously employed Jews in his photographic store and bicycle parts shop (in the beginning, Jews who were employed were not transported). The insurance card and record of employment of the young Jew, Beniek Schlüssel, have survived. He worked in my father's store from 15th March until 31st October 1941.

I once asked my father why there were food cans lying of the shelf. He replied that if he employed someone he had to give them something to do. He said that their job was to collect the can left by the army, clean them and them sort them. After the War, he had to pay taxes as it was demonstrated that he had a high number of employees. There were no witnesses left to tell of his help. I remember he once read me a letter from a Jew from the Netherlands who thanked him for his help and offered reciprocal help if ever it was needed.

 I had the whole file from the ghetto. Jews wrote to my father asking for help and thanking him for the food, money and hygiene supplies. However, only one paper remains, written by Abraham Zucker. From the paper, it turns out that Władysław Solarski, my godfather, was a courier, carrying correspondence, food and money to the ghetto.

 In September 2013, Kazimierz Solarski, son of Maria and Władysław Solarski, told me that during the War, two Jews were hidden in their home. He remembered the name of one of them - Kern - because it reminded him of the famous Ludwik Kern. He remembered how, one day, his father showed him from afar the site where Jews were executed at the Jewish cemetery. He told him to remeber what he was seeing.

When the Germans left Baranów, the Jews emerged from hiding. A couple of days later, two of them came in KKVD uniforms which greatly shocked his parents. Certainly today, apart from the possible statement of Kazimierz Solarski, there is no other evidence. Talk by friends is just that - talk. For me, his statement is confirmation of what my father told me. My father and godfather helped Jews.