– Mrs. Banaszek! Mrs. Banaszek! – Mr. Feler, the village councilor, knocked on the door, clearly concerned. When the woman opened the door, the man slipped inside, looked around with fear and said: „The Germans had found out. You have to leave, or they will kill you”. In the hiding place behind the wardrobe, like in a fairytale Narnia, a Jewish couple had been hiding for over a year. At first, their daughter was with them, but she did not survive. She was buried in the garden, under a cherry tree.
Marianna and her children – 20-year-old Władek, Wiktoria and 17-year-old Stasia – quickly sent the spouses out of the house but she decided to stay. – If they don’t find the ones they’re looking for, they’ll probably go away…? They certainly have a lot of false denunciations – the Banaszek were speculating. In the morning, Wiktoria went to work in Warsaw as usual, and Marianna went to church. Władek and Stasia stayed at home. Before Mom managed to get back, German gendarmes plundered the apartment. Having found no trace of the hiding people, they pushed the siblings into the car, took them to Marki and shot them near the brickyard. Their bodies lay unburied all day long – they were supposed to be a warning to the Poles: „This is how those who help Jews die”. The German executioners, enthralled by the scent of blood, returned to the Banaszek family home. Marianna did not have time to mourn. They murdered her in the hallway. On the street they caught a man, told him to dig a hole in the garden and throw the body of the killed woman into it.
– That’s impossible! – Victoria yelled out when she heard about the events. Her friends begged her not to come home, her mind suggested the same thing, however, her heart dictated differently. – „I have to see her, I have to,” she said. After some time it turned out that she was also dead. The inhabitants of Pustelnik suspected that, just like her family, she had been murdered by the Germans. The burial place remained unknown.
In 1945. Czesław Szewczak, a relative of the Banaszek family, made sure that the corpses of Marianna, Władysław and Stanisław were transferred to the parish cemetery. A year later, a Jew who was in hiding with his family at Marianna Banaszek’s house came to Pustelnik, to take the body of his daughter and bury her in Israel. He never appeared there again.
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