Helena Michałowicz from family Piotrowska was born on October 5th, 1908 in Piotrków Trybunalski. During German occupation she worked in the tax office, which was located on the territory of the so-called small ghetto. Helena joined the Home Army and became a liaison under the pseudonym „Krystyna”. When it became known that she had two dependent small children, she was moved into the health sector. Her colleagues traded with the Jews in the ghetto. Helena, over time, also began to trade. She got the contract from Mr. Goldberg who lived on the street Twarda. Before the war he used to supply hairdressers with studs and pins. During the war Helena took over the responsibility of delivering them. Goldber prepared the parcels and passed them through his son to Helena. Then she after work was delivering them to specific hairdressers and get money from them. For each package, she received from Goldberg 2.50 zł: „Sometimes at the request of Goldberg, I brought him some small purchase.”
In the same house also lived a Jewish woman – the owner of the shop with the hats on St. Chmielna. When she was moved to the ghetto, she had to gave away her shop in Poland. Helena said, „So she was making hats in her apartment, and I was bringing them to shop at Chmielna. Hats were the same style, so in order to reduce the risk that policeman would look on me with suspicions, part I had in the bag, and often two I placed on my head and I always managed to go safely without being stopped by the policeman.”
Helena had many responsibilities – she became the administrator of two houses: „With one administration located in the small ghetto, the other located in the big ghetto, I was getting over the bridge over the St. Chłodna. Among the tenants on Śliska street were Dr. Goldman, leading the lab, and Dr. Bemski, baptized from two generations past but still considered as Jewish by officers. My relationship with them was good.” Thanks to the work in the ghetto, Helena was able to freely go from inside to outside – to Aryan side. When many years after the war, Helena’s daughter asked her about how she wasn’t afraid of the consequences of her actions, she said: „Everyone had something or someone to lose.” Once she brought out the ghetto a girl, who was probably later transferred to other people.
Helena Michałowicz died on 10th of October 2001.
- FLV, List od Krystyny Michałowicz-Cerańskiej [córka] z 16.03.2015 r.
- FLV, nagranie audio, sygn. 811_3050, relacja Krystyny Michałowicz-Cerańskiej [córka] z 12.03.2015 r.
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