Seeking the Warzycha Family

In May 2015 a local newspaper in Brześć on Bug published an article in the hope of finding out whether my cousin Khana Likhtshteyn (Chana Lichtsztejn) was saved during the Holocaust. The last postcard from Khana’s parents - Nakhman and Nekha - was received in February 1940 from Wysokie Litewskie in the Polesie Province (from 1939 the town was part of the Soviet Union).

I sent the clipping of the address on the postcard and a photo of Khanale to the newspaper hoping that it will help me find someone who may know if Khana was saved. A woman contacted the newspaper office stating that her husband, Laurel Prokopovich, knows a Pole who adopted the Likhtshteyn’s daughter. My friend, Oleg Medvedevsky,  from Brześć went to Wysokie Litewskie to meet with Mr. Prokopovich.

Laurel Prokopovich was born in 1941. When he was 7 years old, his mum told him a story of a Jewish girl rescued from the Holocaust who used to live in their neighborhood. Laurel’s parents heard the story from their neighbor, Mr Warzycha, a miller. One day while they were all standing by the public well, Mr. Warzycha told them he knew Nakhman Likhtshteyn from his workplace. Apparently,  when the Germans entered the town in 1941 and began the process of exterminating local Jewish population, the Likhtshteyns left their daughter with Mr. Warzycha. He managed to rescue her, baptized her at a local church and adopted her. The Warzycha family had their own two children – Bolesław and Zofia. They resided, according to Laurel Prokopovich at 17 Sentyabrya street number 15. The same address (without the house number)  is visible on the postcard of 1940. Mr. Prokopovich seems to recall that the Lichtshteyn’s resided on a parallel street. He said that his mother told him the names of the residents of the close neighborhood.

Laurel Prokopovich heard about the case again in the year 1991 or 1992, when a woman searching for her family arrived in town and his mother mentioned the story again.

After the war Wysokie Litewskie was incorporated into the Soviet Union. The Warzycha family left for Poland in the early 1950s, according to Mr. Prokopovich Nobody has heard of the Warzychas since, and nobody knows what has happened to my cousin. It is practically impossible to find her now. Most likely she changed her name after the baptism, and later possibly her family name, too. The only person who can help determine what had happened to my cousin is Bolesław Warzycha. Mr. Prokopovich said that Bolek was 2-3 years older than him, so he was probably born in 1943-44. I do hope he can be traced so that I can convey my gratitude and appreciation for what his father did.