"Two farmers denounced them to the Blue Police" - the story of Jerzy Siekański

Before the war, I lived together with my parents Stanisław and Wanda Siekański in Węgleszyn near Jędrzejów. My father worked at the post office in nearby Oksa and my mother was a teacher in the primary school of our village. In 1942, my parents took the Żelichowskis, a Jewish family from Łódź, into their home: a Polish army second lieutenant with his wife, probably Polish, and their 5-year old son.

They were hiding in a shed adjacent to our home, which they left at night to wash themselves and eat. I remember we had a hard time, we were starving. It was particularly difficult to find anything to eat in early spring, when the entire village was starving, we did not even have potatoes.

In the second half of March 1943, the Nazi Germans conducted a round-up in Węgleszyn to send people to forced labour in the Reich. They broke into our house for a search. They found arms, ammunition and a radio set my father used to follow reports from London. Since our neighbours had warned us, me and my father managed to escape. My mother was at school at that time. She was arrested together with Jadwiga Włodek, another teacher, and taken to Auschwitz, where she died on 6 January 1944.

The Jewish family was not discovered until the night after the Germans left. Two farmers denounced them to the Blue Police in Oksa. In the morning, the Żelichowskis were shot dead and buried in the forest.

This tragedy has never been discussed in public before. Witnesses told me after the war that their bodies had been exhumed and taken away from Węgleszyn. I believe their story must not be forgotten.