Jan Rakoczy during the German occupation lived in Sanka village, near Cracow. Difficult access to the location created the house to be a perfect place to hide.

Together with Jan lived his younger sisters: Wiktoria and Maria. Brothers and sisters hid at their farm six people of Jewish origin, whom before the war lived with them in the village. These were Gauder and Grinbaum families.

Mr. Gauder run a shop and had several acres of land. They called him Leoś. He lived with his wife, three daughters and a son Karol. When the whole family was arrested by the Germans, only children managed to escape. At the begging kids were hiding in different houses in Sanka – but they finally moved into Rakocz family house. The hiding place at Jan’s house found also sisters Estera and Bronisława Grinbaum. Their father – Lewek, was a seller of eggs in Sanka. He was detained and he has never returned.

The Jews lived with Mr. Rakoczym in his small house. When needed, they all headed down to the basement through the door in the floor of the hallway. These doors were always covered with something. It was also known that, when Jan was working in the field, and some stranger was approaching the house, the master whistled loudly, to give, thus, the sign to hide. Recalls Stanisława Janik ( from family Konik): “on the handle of the front door was always hanging a metal bucket which dropped every time that someone came in.” To obtain the food for the group helped also pre-war neighbors of Grinbaum family – Walkiewicz family.

Andrzej and Janina Walkiewicz at nights were bringing food and shared it with Jews. Besides them, no one knew about the additional residents of the house.

Mrs. Stanisława Janik as a little girl often came to visit Wiktoria and Maria. After the war she heard: „you Know, Stasia, for such one Stasia so many people had to sit in the basement.”

They all survived the occupation. They were hiding for almost 4 years. After the war Estera and Bronisława were baptized, and passed their property to Mr. Walkiewicz. They died a few years after the war: Estera was buried in the parish cemetery in Sanka, and Bronisława in cemetery in Cracow. Gauders family eventually moved abroad and never cotnacted again with Mr. Rakoczy.


  1. FLV, nagranie video, relacja Władysława Cyganika, Sanka, 26.04.2017 r.
  2. FLV, nagranie video, relacja Stanisławy Janik, Sanka, 26.04.2017 r.
  3. FLV, nagranie video, relacja Jadwigi Kołacz, Sanka, 26.04.2017 r.
  4. FLV, nagranie video, relacja Danuty Krzanik, 26.04.2017 r.