In 70’s of XX century, Anna Koziołkiewicz-Oberda was looking for kerosene lamp in the attic of her aunt, Jadwiga Kwiecińska, made by her grandfather. She found another one, smaller. Interested in her finding, went down to show it to Jadwiga. Aunt replied that it was probably a toy of Jewish children who were hiding there.
During the war in a house in Zamość, lived grandmother of Anna – Marcela Kubarska, who lived with her married daughters: Helena Koziołkiewiczowa (husband Klemens, two children) and Jadwiga Kwiecińska (husband Adam, two children).
At the turn of autumn and winter of 1942 Marcela through the window have seen that someone is trying to hide in their bushes. She told her daughters to bring these people to her. Two elderly Jews with child, escaped from the ghetto in Zamość, which was liquidated at that time. Marcela’s family decided to help them and let them stay in home. After three weeks the German gendarmerie ordered the expulsion of the entire street. The houses has been designed for apartments for the Germans. The Jews asked to get them out of town. Marcela with her daughters provided for their guests food and clothing, and at the evening Klemens showed them the way towards Hrubieszów village. Their further fate is not known. Marcela’s family was moved into the building which stayed in the area of former ghetto.
Anna recalls: „later my Parents didn’t mention it. They just hid the fact of helping – because it’s a normal matter, as they told me long after the fact. „1. And further: „I Asked my parents and aunt, why they did not talk about it – they said, „What for? So UB (secret political police) closed us? It turns out that after the war, UB was hunting and sending to prison people that helped the Jews.”2. Thus, the woman found out about another event. This took place at a time when the German soldiers created a temporary camp for Jews from Zamość and the surrounding areas.
Klemens received then a message which he had to pass to a well-known Jew-doctor, currently kept in the camp, and to partisan groups hiding in forest. The man went to the camp and, standing at the high fence, not seeing that someone is on the other side, he asked to bring the doctor. When he came to the fence (Klemens recognized him by voice), Klemens told a message about organized for him and his wife escaping action. As Anna says: „Today, before specific hour, the board in the fence will be loose. He said which board it will be and in what place it will be located. His wife was supposed to have a headscarf. There someone was about to help them pass further and into the forest. The doctor said that he will not go, because he already had lost his son, and his people will need him. My daddy said to him to think about it as this action was possible only that day. And he walked away”3.
In 50-ies of XX century, Koziołkiewicz family has been visited by at first sight unknown man. It was the doctor. Thanks to the Klemens he and his bride managed to escape from ghetto. As evidence of gratitude, the man gave Clement a coupon of the material and two pairs of styles. He found Koziołkiewicz family as he remembered the name which Klemens gave him.
„My parents did not brag about it. No one knew about it. Only after many years have I learned what they really were like” adds Anna.
- FLV, List od Anny Koziołkiewicz-Oberdy, Zamość, 26.01.2014 r.
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