Sunday, May 20, 2012

Good Hearts


There were many good Poles who sacrificed much to save  Jews, including their own lives.  The Sisters who looked after my mother did so in fear of death. Nearly all of those in my family  who survived, did so because Poles with good hearts took risks and cared about fellow human beings.   This story of  Joasia  is best told by my grandfather:

1943

"By this stage, I knew I had to do something to save my wife and daughter.  Life in the ghetto had become very risky, with the introduction of deportations.  My in-laws did not want to risk traveling to the Aryan side. 

 Mr Roman Talikowski, a gentleman who owned a small shop selling gloves, helped me to find living quarters on the Aryan side and a job in Warsaw.  Roman was not a wealthy merchant.  At the outbreak of the war, he had obtained some leather and gloves from my father-in-law.  Even though the total value of the goods he had obtained was not large, as long as my in-laws were alive in the ghetto, Roman provided them every month with food and money which he managed to smuggle into the ghetto.  He was an exceptionally honest and courageous individual.  My father-in-law only gave his allegiance to the wealthy, and so he gave the majority of his leather and gloves to one of his richest clients, Mr Karlowicz who owned one of the largest leather goods shops in Warsaw.  This 'gentleman'  however, offered my in-laws no help at all.  Instead he squandered the goods for himself.  It was Roman Talikowski, a solid and honest Catholic Pole, who assisted my in-laws, my wife and daughter, and myself.  He rented  a small room in a private residence not far from Milanowek, a suburb of Warsaw, for Irene and myself. 

 The day we decided to take my wife and child out of the ghetto, Roman waited for us on the other side of Leszno Street.  I bribed the leader of a group of Jewish workers who worked on the Aryan side of the ghetto.  I crossed the German checkpoint with my daughter in a rucksack on my back.  Not long before, I had given her two sleeping pills.  The doctor who had given me the pills, had warned me that she may never wake up again, but without the pills there was a danger that she may cry and so be brought to the attention of the Germans.  After crossing the checkpoint I gave out another bribe enabling us to cross to the side of the street where Roman Talikowski was waiting. 

 Our new lodging was about twenty minutes drive by electrical train from the center of Warsaw.  Roman had not only found us a place to live, but had also organized for me a new official job with a Polish contracting firm working on the construction of warehouses for the Germans at the Warsaw railway station of  "Warszawa-Gdansk".  With the help of another school friend, I was able to obtain an original  'Kennkarte' for myself and my wife.  Without this pass that displayed our photos and fingerprints, it was not possible to live in German-occupied Poland.   

I attempted again to get my in-laws out of the ghetto.  I entered the ghetto with a group of Polish bricklayers under the pretence that I was repairing the ghetto walls.  Instead, I went to speak to my father-in-law.  Despite the fact that he did not look Semitic, and that I had rented a room in a suburb of Warsaw, and that I had obtained for him the papers of a retired railway worker, he still refused to go.  I had to leave him shortly before the German imposed 9.00pm curfew.  I asked him one more time if he would leave.  He asked me for a few days to think about it. We embraced before he helped me to climb a ladder over the ghetto wall. It was the last time I ever saw my father-in-law.   - Zdislaw Przygoda
The Germans herded  Jews in the ghetto to the Umschlagsplatz for transportation to the extermination camps. 

Umschlagsplatz today - Poland Passing




Goodbye Eliash  - Majdanek Concentration Camp
Farewell Dworja – Treblinka
May God bless you Henryk – Majdanek
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xxx

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I think y'all may be in need of some lighter material ???   I sure am.
Here  is the beauty of the old  town of Warsaw, completely rebuilt after it was destroyed during the war and listed on the  UNESCO list of World Heritage Site's:






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1 comment:

  1. I need to visit - looks wonderful. V x

    ReplyDelete

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