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In the course of the next four weeks, we will be hosted by Mrs. Regina Frelich from Rybnik. Mrs. Regina will tell us interesting story about the help that her closest family gave to refugees from the Auschwitz camp during the Second World War.

The house was spacious, from the perspective of a child even huge. It housed the three-generational family of Maria and Fryderyk Smołków and the… Someone else. One day, two half-living men found themselves there. – Let us in, store, hide – the Jews begged through each other. – The Germans were chasing us, we escaped from the transport – an explanation was given. The ticking of the clock was coming from the room. In the ears of those who came – waiting for an invitation – every tick-tock turned into a thunderous bach-tock. – Come in, they heard.

That night, the Smołkows couldn’t sleep. The Germans could have come in at any moment… Fortunately, nothing like that happened. The Jews gained some strength, ate breakfast. – It’s time for us to go further – they thanked us and, not wanting to endanger the lives of the Smołków family, they set off on a further journey. They probably originated from Sosnowiec.

The Smołków family together with their children, who already had their own children, took in another man with Jewish roots. This Greek by origin stayed with them for a longer time. He lived to see the end of the war and left. He was young, missed his mother and father very much. – Will I ever see them again? – he sighed and there were candles in his eyes. – Don’t you miss your siblings? – Mrs. Maria asked. – I don’t have any siblings. I am myself, an only child, he explained.

It got dangerous in the area. The whole family of Poles could pay with their lives for one Jew. – We have to move,” it was decided. The Jewish boy was taken with them. – I was small then, I didn’t understand how it was possible to hunt someone, but I knew that I couldn’t even tell anyone that this boy was staying with us,” recalls the Smołków’s granddaughter, Regina Frelich. – There were many of us at home: my grandparents, my parents and my mother’s and their family’s siblings… We all helped, nobody spilled a word. When the war ended, the boy went away somewhere to join his own people – she suspends her voice, thinking about war dramas.

A family home


Instytut Pamięć i Tożsamość im. Jana Pawła II

Public task co-financed by the Polish Ministry of Foreign Affairs as part of the Public Diplomacy 2017 contest in the ’Cooperation in public diplomacy 2017’ category.

This publication expresses its author’s views which cannot be equated with the official stance of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Poland.”

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