– Halt!” shouted a German gendarme. The women, terrified, stood up. One of them was holding a loaf of bread in her hand. The Germans looked carefully at the detainees. They had no doubt – they were both Jewish. – What is this? Are you carrying bread? – asked one of them, trying to be polite. Both nodded their heads. – Where did you get it from? – they wanted to know. – From the baker Lubkiewicz. Leon,” they added. There were two Lubkiewicz bakers in Sadowne: Leon, the father, and Stanisław, Leon’s son. Both baked quota bread and both – unbeknownst to the gendarmes – selflessly supplied bread to Jews who were hiding in the nearby forests.
When the officers heard the name of the man who had given bread to Elizówna and Czapkiewiczówna, they shot both Jewish women. – So now to mr. Lubkiewicz – they decided, leaving the bodies of the murdered women to be buried.
The Germans from the penal expedition had been in Sadowne for barely 10 days – since 3 January 1943. They were stationed at the local school, and their main task was to catch escapees from the transport to Treblinka, as the tracks leading there ran through Sadowne. Gendarmes were also ordered to seek out Poles who had helped Jewish fugitives. And the Lubkiewicz family was undoubtedly one of them. Every day they supplied Jews with bread and other products they needed to survive.
The Germans did not enter the Lubkiewiczs’ flat, but rushed in – like a pack of barking dogs chasing prey. – Did you give bread to the Jews? – shouted a military policeman called Schultz with all the strength in his lungs. He jumped up to Mrs Marianna, Leon Lubkiewicz’s wife, and hit her in the face with his fist. The blow was so strong that Mrs Lubkiewicz staggered. Her cheek bruised instantly. Schultz „interrogated” the others with similar brutality. The teenage Irena was first kicked in the leg with his hard military boot and then hit in the back, in the spine, with the pistol. He did it so hard that the woman felt pain in this spot for the rest of her life. – Tell me that your mother gave bread to the Jews! Tell me – he forced Irena to confess. But both daughter and mother were silent. – I’m counting to ten, if you don’t confess, I’ll shoot! – the gendarme warned. He pointed the gun in the direction of Marianna and started counting. Irena, without thinking long, knelt down between her mother and the perpetrator. – Stop counting – ordered the senior officer to Schultz. However, the investigation continued. Schultz pushed Stefan, the son of the Lubkiewicz family, against the wall and started kicking him. Without rest. Leon Lubkiewicz, who arrived a little later, was being pounded on the face with his fists. The German did not spare his boots either. He kicked without mercy. Finally, tired, he sat down. Around 10 p.m. the Germans decided to finish the „work”. They took the Poles out into the yard, leaving only Irena in the house – „because she was underage”. They lined them up against a wall and shot them. – Do not bury the bodies. So that tomorrow everyone will see what happens when you rescue Jews. Let this death serve as a warning – announced the German leading the team of gendarmes. – Now we will look around the house a bit more – he ordered. From the Poles’ house, the German officers took out supplies of flour, food, equipment and clothes. They took the shoes off Stefan’s feet – new, leather ones with uppers, while they removed his mother’s gold earrings, a gold ring and a gold ring.
After about two weeks, the local parish priest dared to conduct a funeral mass at night, and the bodies, placed in coffins, were buried in the nearby cemetery. The crime took place on 13 January 1943. Leon was 59 years old at the time, Marianna was 44, Stefan was 25 and Irena was 18.
Leon, Marianna and Stanisław were posthumously awarded the title of Righteous Among the Nations on 13 March 1997.
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