– Jasiek, save yourself, don’t come back home. We need to get you some other documents. You will go to work. People will take care of the children, help them. And anyway… the older ones will manage, they are clever kids – friends convinced newly widowed Jan Niepsuja. A few hours earlier, his two sons arrived at the station in Tarnów, where he worked. They were breathless and terrified. – Daddy, the Gestapo came… Mummy is dead… They shot her. Jews too – they said one by one. – We barely managed to escape from the barn – they reported.
There was no way out. Jan fled to a nearby village in anticipation of an opportunity to travel to Germany under a false name. To work, of course. The future of the eight half-orphans – Rozalia, Julian, Tadeusz, Stanisław, Józefa, Antoni, Maria and Ignacy – was in doubt. However, people helped. The two younger ones were taken care of by the family. The eldest daughter became a nurse. The remaining siblings hired themselves out to farmers and that is how they survived until the end of the war. After many adventures, Jan did not return to Poland until 1947.
– Daddy…, I will never forget that day. I hid under the bed. And they rushed mum towards the barn. I heard them shooting,” Maria recounted with tears in her eyes. On that day, 9 April 1943, after almost a year since the Niepsujs had taken in a Jewish couple, the Gestapo came to the house in Klikowa.
– Search! – a German shout could be heard. Only Anna and little Maria were at home. Her husband was at work that day, the older children were at school, the oldest sons were busy working in the barn, and the youngest son was staying with his grandmother. The Germans systematically swept the house inch by inch. – There they are, the pigeons in the attic! – shouted one of the officers with disgust and contempt. After a moment, a young couple was led into the hallway. The woman was pregnant. The Germans had no mercy.
The bodies of the executed Jews and the Polish woman were wrapped in sheets and taken to the local cemetery. They were buried in a common grave in the presence of a German and the village leader.
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