Jan Borkowski was born in Rzążew. He was still a child when his parents, Władysław and Marianna Borkowski, helped two Jewish women from nearby Zbuczyn. The women were initially hidden in the attic and later in a dugout. And incident involving the theft of a calf resulted in Władysław being accused of helping people of Jewish origin.
Beaten and kicked by the Germans, he managed to say goodbye to his children with a rosary he had taken out of his pocket.