During the German occupation, teacher Maria Adamkowska (born 30.11.1890) lived in Warsaw in a two-room flat. She rented one of the rooms to city office workers. One of them was Dr. Leon Gottesman, who worked under false documents, hiding his Jewish origin. When Maria discovered his secret, out of concern for the man’s safety, she offered him shelter in her flat. There, Leon found two Jewish women who had been hiding for a long time. One of the women, named Rubinlicht, soon died of a heart attack. Maria, with extraordinary courage, informed the German authorities that the deceased was her aunt. As a result, permission was obtained to bury the woman. Maria also hid other people of Jewish origin in her house: Mieczysław Hamburger, Hanna Goldfeld, Helena Sperling and Hala Spinak. The four Jews hid at the Adamkowska’s until the suppression of the Warsaw Uprising, after which they were expelled together with the local population. Despite this, they managed to survive until liberation in January 1945. Maria, on the other hand, was deported to Germany after the Uprising, and on 4th March 1943 she was imprisoned in KL Buchenwald, where she lived to see liberation in April 1945.
On 13 February 1968, Maria Adamkowska was awarded the title 'Righteous Among the Nations’ by the Yad Vashem Institute.
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