Węgliska is a Polish village located near the Rakszawy town in Subcarpathian Voivodeship (region łańcucki). During German occupation most of Jews living in surrounding areas were murdered. One of the safest places to be was at that time the home of Baran family.

In 1942 Helena married Franciszek Baran and moved into his house where lived also his mother, Maria, and her sister Anna Guz. Only then Helena found out about hidden shelter of a Jewish family anmed Grunfeld. Gold and Jankel Grunfeldowie, Herszel Reich and their mother were from the Kąty Trzebulskie village where they run a farm and traded hides. Baran family knew them from time before the war. Franciszek many times gave them a ride with their goods to Jarosławie.

Jews were hidding in the barn. Helena often met them when she was going to milk the cows. „At night they were walking out, to the yard. Meals were cooked for more people, Helena was responsible for it, and the food for the Jews always brought her mother-in-law. She made no difference: they got all the same food as the family ate, the same on weekdays and on holidays. They only didn’t eat pork. Hiding three adults required not only ingenuity, but also enormous courage and vigilance. When to Baran’s neighbors – Cisków family came Gestapo, all were worried that they will be next. „There was always the likelihood that someone would find out. This fear accompanied the family all the time. Some of the neighbors probably knew about the truth, but faithfully kept silence.”

In the spring of 1944 Jewish family left the farm and went into the woods between villages Węgliska and Zalesie. The forest belonged to earl Potocki. Frequent changes of to asylum allowed them to survive the German occupation.

They stopped hiding after the liberation of territories in July 1944. The Jews went to the USA and settled in Buffalo. The family opened a restaurant. Grunfelds’ began a new life.


  1. Cz. Kołodziej, Ze wspomnień, „Rakszawskie Aktualności” 2004, nr 89.