Janina Dubniak, along with her husband Józef and their little daughter lived in Warsaw. Before the war, she was friends with Halina Janowska. Thanks for her she met a Jewish woman Regina Mikelberg. After several years fate brought the women together
During the occupation, Regina and her family were sent to the ghetto. There she was ordered to work in the German Steyer factory. Every day the situation in the Jewish quarter was getting worse. The woman decided to ask Janina, whose husband had acted in the Resistance Movement, to help smuggle items to the ghetto. Janina did not hesitate and agreed to become a liaison and to transfer to the ghetto – via Regina – food, medicines, etc.
In 1943, Regina sent to Janina a 10-year-old Nelusia. Woman hid the girl trough January and February – later she was taken by her biological mother
In February of 1943 Janina received a message from sister of Regina. Irena asked for help as after the last day of work in Steyer factory woman will be sent to camp Treblinka. Irena suggested to save her sister in the moment when employees will be coming back from work to their houses.
In the day of escape Janina found out that her husband was heavily injured. The man jumped out of a window on second floor to save himself from German officers who discovered the location of secret meetings. The woman was stumped: „I didn’t know what to do!?1 Should I take my husband to the hospital or save Irena Mikielberk, that I bearly know!?”. In the last moment she decided to choose Irena. When workers left the factory, woman sneak into the line to accompany her and on the street turn, they both sneak out from the group. They left their hideout after the transport to Treblinka was gone. Dubniak gave Irena a kennkart of her sister. Women went to home of Balbina Stolarska, mother of Janina.
On the next day Janina took her housband to the hospital on the Płocka street. His leg was in a deplorable state. The treatment lasted several months but that did not made Józef to abandon the underground activities. Janina’s husband died in Warsaw uprising. He fought in the group „Radosław”.
Irena stayed at Janina’s house until June. For the next months she stayed at Balbina’s place. One day, Janina went with her daughter to visit mother. Suddenly to her apartment came German officers who searched the flat. Fortunetly they didn’t find out about Irena true identity. When this safe house was burned, Balbina’s friend took care of Irina.
In May of 1943 Regina came to Janina as she wanted to visit her sister who after the capitulation of the uprising in the ghetto she was sent to Treblinka. She fell under the train cars, what saved her life. She layed beneath them until dawn, and the next day she went to Janinas’. The woman organized for her kennkart for the name of „Stanisława Kowalska”. Regina didn’t have Semitic features thank for what she was free to move around Warsaw. She even found a work as a housekeeper on Młociny.
Regina and Iena Mikelberg managed to survive the brutal period of occupation. After the liberation Regina had married and moved to the U.S. Irena became a wife of Adam Stolarczyka, with whom in 1969 she went to Belgium.
On 31st of May 1994, in recognition of merits in the rescue of the Jewish population during the Second World War, the institution of Yad Vashem awarded Janina Grabowska (the surname of her second husband) and Balbina Stolarskiej with the medal of „Righteous among the Nations of the World.”
- I. Gutman, Polscy Sprawiedliwi wśród Narodów Świata, [w:] Księga Sprawiedliwych wśród Narodów Świata. Ratujący Żydów podczas Holocaustu. Polska, cz. I, red. wyd. pol. D. Libionka, R. Kuwałek, A. Kopciowski, Kraków 2009.
- FLV, List od Ireny Krasiejko, Warszawa, 10.08.2013 r.
- FLV, Relacja Janiny Grabowskiej dla Instytutu Żydowskiego w Warszawie, 14.03.1993 r.
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