Siemianiówka k. Lwowa
In the air the whistle of the falling guillotine was heard. The death sentence issued on 25 July 1944 in Cracow by the Nazi Special Court was carried out. Where? In Wrocław. When? We do not know exactly. Another Pole who helped Jews was executed. This is how Józef Balicki, Katarzyna’s husband, Stanisław’s and Władysław’s father, a railwayman from Siemianówka near Lwów, were killed. The same punishment was imposed on his wife by the German judiciary, however, after more than a year and a half in the women’s prison in Lübeck, Katarzyna was reprieved.
The Balicki family knew that by saving a familiar Jewish family, they risked their lives, but did not help other people…. It was barbaric,” they thought. They knew Pasternak’s family well before the war. The Jewish family lived in Lviv on Potockiego Street and was involved in trade in leather. When in 1942 the Germans came for Staśek, the Balicki’s elder son, to take him to the quarries in Postomyty and Szczerców to work, Bernard (Rubin) Pasternak came to his aid. He managed to hide him, which prevented him from being transported. Shortly after this event, Stanisław was able to return the favour. A ghetto was established in Lviv, to which the Pasternak’s were redirected. The Baliccy began to think about how to get them out of there. Stasiek and the younger Władek secretly delivered food to their friends. Late autumn 1943. – probably by the use of a railway uniform – they got Bernard and Moses, Chaim’s sons, out of the ghetto. They hid them at home in a special hideout under the floor. The next night they were to come back for Bernard’s wife, Esther and their daughter Sophie, but they didn’t make it in time. They were probably taken to a concentration camp. Until the end of January 1944, Bernard and Moses spent their days in the underground and nights in their flat. On February 1, the Germans knocked on the door. A man named Jaremko, a neighbor of the Balicki family, a Ukrainian, reported that Poles were hiding Jews. Józefa and Katarzyna were arrested together with Bernard and Mojżesz. Stanisław and Władysław escaped prison because they were not at home at the time of the raid.
On November 26, 1987, Józef, Katarzyna, Stanisław and Władysław were awarded the title of Righteous Among the Nations for their courage.
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