Lucyna Małachowska saves Sonia Stolnicka and her daughter
In 1944 the German officers ordered evacuation of the population from villages from the area of Augustów town. One of the people displaced from their farms was Lucyna Małachowska. Lucyna’s husband, Władysław, in 1939, was arrested by NKVD and imprisoned in Moscow. The woman herself took care of the house and their five children.
Some time before moving out, to Lucyna came Sonia Stolnicka. Jew together with her sister Szejna, before war led a tailor workshop in Rajgród. For some time the woman was hiding in the area but people who helped her were too afraid of being caught, to transport her to Rajgród, where her sister was waiting for her. They knew that if anything goes wrong, they will face the penalty of death.
The oldest daughter of Lucyna, at that time 14 years old Alina, recalls: „Before we moved out to my mother came Sonia, who was scared and desperate, as becouse of fear – no one wanted to help her. Everyone knew that helping her meant death. Sonia, must have been about thirty years old then, was a beautiful woman with long blond hair. Mom sat her on the cart between pillows, put my little sister Basieńka on her knees and gave her a rosary. She said that in the case of control, she was supposed to tell that her name is Zosia and she is our cousin. So we moved to the road.”1.
In the village Barszcze, was the police checkpoint. When Luycna arrived there, on horseback pulled up to her one of the gendarmes. The woman immediately recognized him as the infamous Erwin. The man demanded to show the documents and asked where Lucyna’s husband was. The woman answered in German language that he was arrested and imprisoned in Moscow. The policeman looked at people sitting in the car. His doubts caused Sonia – asked whether, by chance, is she Jewish. Lucyna explained that she’s her cousin – Zosia, who came to help with children. The policeman advised the woman to stop on the side of the road and pretend that something happened to her cart, and when the convoy of cars will pass them – to ran away. Thanks to Erwin, women managed to escape. Lucyna reached Rajgród, where for Sonia was already waiting her sister Szejna.
Unfortunately, further road was not so lucky. Małachowski family was rushed by the officers to the camp in Grajewo. The camp was fenced with barbed wire but fortunately they met there close family from Bełda family. Together they all managed to escape.
After the war Małachowscy moved to Ełk. One day they received a message and invitation from the Stolnickich sisters. Due to the serious condition of Basia, Lucyna couldn’t go to Rajgród. She sent there Alina and Zenon. Daughter of Lucyna Małachowska recalls: „Sonia was very ill, probably for tuberculosis. She sat on the bed with her rosary and waited for the priest. She said she wants to be baptized and take the name of Zofia. After some time we found out that Sonia died, and Szejna moved out to America”2.
- FLV, List od Aliny Dubik, Opole, 19.01.2014 r.
- FLV, Nagranie audio sygn. 811_0186 D, relacja Aliny Dubik z 10.01.2014 r.
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