The story of Władysław Łańczak

Before the war, in the village of Pakoszówka near Sanok there was a Jewish married couple named Gershen who lived with their four daughters, Estera, Peska, Hanci and Ryfka, and their son Herszko. Their job was milk processing and selling dairy products.

During World War II, Hanci, Ryfka and Herszko were interned in the Sanok ghetto while their parents got killed in the nearby village of Jurowce, shot dead by the Nazi Germans probably in 1941. Estera and Peska kept on hiding, got married in around 1938 and moved to two different localities.

In 1941 or 1942, the sisters returned with Estera's husband to their native Pakoszówka. At first, all three hid in the Wroczeń forest near the village, and then at the farm of Cecylia Adamiak and her daughter Helena where they found shelter in a cavity in the barn. At night, they would go out to get food from friendly Poles.

My family home was one of those where they were received. The Jews came about every three weeks to get a hot meal and provisions of bread, cheese and other foodstuffs. While they were at home, we would go out to the garden with my brother Józef and my sister Zosia to guard the entrance against strangers. My grandmother Katarzyna and my parents Magdalena and Aleksander Łańczak helped them.

Estera, together with her husband and Peska, were hiding in Pakoszówka until around 15 July 1944 when the Red Army entered the locality, and then left for Sanok. Estera died there, and her husband and sister left for Israel. I am unaware of their further fate.