Gestapo men stood outside of the Ciesielskis’ apartment. Romualda, Feliks’ wife, was alone with her son.
– You’re coming with us – the Gestapo officer said with a tone of voice indicting that he would not take no for an answer.
Romualda knew that she would not be able to return home soon. Indeed, she was guilty of quite a lot … At the beginning of the occupation, together with her husband and son they were relocated from Bydgoszcz to Krakow – to a flat that had previously belonged to a Jewish family. From the start, she and her husband were both involved in helping Jews – supplying clothes and food, organizing escapes from the ghetto and providing false documents. The Ciesielskis’ place had also become a temporary hideout, among others for Dr Edmund Fiszler with his wife Leonora and the Horowiczs’, a family of four. Romualda suggested to them to hide their daughter in a monastery for safety.
From the summer of 1942 to December, a Polish woman was imprisoned at Montelupich. She bravely endured the inflicted torture. On the 16th of December she was transported to KL Auschwitz (camp number 27 184). Here, she was also helping Jewish prisoners. In 1943, she was appointed to look after the 16A children’s block, thanks to which she saved many lives from extermination: she hid children who were chosen for the “selection”, organized additional food rations, and falsified birth certificates. She was also subject to medical experiments. This continued until her escape from the evacuation transport in Jawiszowice in 1945.
Feliks also ended up in Auschwitz (camp number 83 751). He was transported there on the 15th of December 1942, probably from the Montelupich prison. Eventually, he was transported and ended up in Mauthausen, where he was murdered on the 8th of March 1945.
On the 2nd of May 1967, the Institute for Holocaust Studies at Yad Vashem awarded Mr. and Mrs. Ciesielski the title of Righteous among the Nations, for their heroism and courage.
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