Józef Bieżuński lived with his family in Wólka Kikolska, where he run a farm.

At the end of September 1942 to his yard came a couple. It was about 35-year-old man accompanied by a 22-year-old girl. The man asked if he could buy milk and relax in farmer’s possession for a little bit. Józef suggested lunch for them. After a short conversation the man gained trust for the farmer – he introduced himself as Szurgał and he admitted that he was engaged in conducting Jews from the Warsaw ghetto, through the Narew river, to Wólka village and asked could he for a few days hid in his house some Jews who were at that time smuggled by him. Józef and his wife agreed. As the man recalls: „When I saw those people tired, exhausted and beaten by the Germans, I thought my heart would burst in grief, I could not deny them my assistance, and without paying attention to what the neighbors said, I thought, „I’m going to die, but I have to help them.

A couple left, but after a while they returned. The girl accompanying Mr. Szurgal, Liba didn’t have the strength for the further way. Józef suggested her to stay on the farm and rest. Liba lived there for two weeks. Usually during the day she was sitting in the garden, on apple tree so nobody would notice her.

Szurgal came again on the next day. He wanted to clarify details of their cooperation. It was decided that he would brought rescue people in the evenings. When they will rest for some time in Józef’s farm, he will take them to another farm – of Mr. Bandowski. On the same day, in the evenig, to the farm came a dozen people of Jewish origin. Jan hid them in the barn and at the attic. Together with his wife they fed them and treated their wounds. On the morning of the third day Jan took them to the Cegielna Psucka village to farm of Mr. Bandowski who helped to move rescued one to various areas (in accordance with their wishes and suggestions). During the week, to Józef’s farm was coming from 6 to 15 people. Every time Szurgał accompanied them. Whole Józef’s family was involved in help: „Looking at these emaciated and pale faces and swollen legs, I gave them everything we could, all the food I could get. Helped me also my 14 years old daughter and my wife. They were bringing them soups, bread and milk and bandages to treat their swollen legs.

During these transfers, Józef showed himself from a very creative side. He told men to lay on the floor of the cart and then put straw on them. He ordered women to sit in the back. He bandaged head of one of them to hide her Semitic features. She was supposed to rely on the shoulder of another women, and pretend that they both are going to the doctor.

But once, German patrol has stopped them. Józef explained that they are in a great hurry, because they have a terminally ill person, and they have to go to the doctor in Nasielsk. It was a good move, because the Germans were afraid of becoming infected. The policeman just waved his hand and commanded them to go further. Creativity was needed also when to the farm came German gendarmerie. For example, when with the group of people came 16 years old boy, Józef gave him a whip and told him to go to the field, to pretend that he was taking care of the cows.
The Jews wanted to pay Józef for the help that he gave to them. He always refused: „Take the money for bread for yourselves and your children, I still have what to eat” he said.
Szurgała finished transferring people after three months


  1. FLV, List od Urszuli Bieżuńskiej [Zeznanie Józefa Bieżuńskiego dla ŻIH, 13.07.1961 r.], Warszawa, 14.10.2013 r.