– I have some food and warm clothes. I will go to the Decs bunker today,’ said Grzegorz Wojturski, a neighbour from Grzegorzówka. Many of the residents of their village and the surrounding settlements were also involved in helping the Jews hiding from the Germans. Among them was Wladyslaw Jasiński from the same Grzegorzówka. It was the summer of 1942. Three brothers living with their parents in a forester’s lodge in Hadle Szklarskie organised a bunker for seven Jews in the nearby forest: Jud, Jankiel, Chana, Józef, Brand, Berek and Małka Schönfeld. The shelter was solid and – as Bronek, Stasiek and Tadek Deca thought – well camouflaged. Unfortunately, the hunt was called near the bunker in November. One of the hunters came across a bunker. „Oh, I’ d have to report it to the gendarmes,” he thought. And as he thought, he did. It did not take long for the Germans to react. Five Jews managed to escape, but two women remained.

– Who prepared this for you here?! Where did you get the food?! – Anton Hachmann was yelling to frightened women.

– I will tell you nothing at all – Chana’s answer with dignity.However, she barely finished these words when one of the Germans fired. The woman slipped inertly to the ground.

– Do you want it too? – A German mockingly asked the other Jewish woman, hitting her in the face. The rest of the gendarmes felt encouraged to act.

– Just do not kill her,’ Hachmann said to the charges. He wanted to reach out at all costs to the Poles, who certainly helped the Jews. Without them, no one would have survived in this forest. Hachmann finally overcome his growing hatred and turned to the half-broke girl in a softer tone:

– Listen, you give us names and we will let you go. Małka, exhausted with a beating, agreed to the proposal. False proposal, of course.

The gendarmes and the girl arrived in Pantalowice in front of the Wladyslaw Dec’s family house, a brother of three bunker constructors. Only his children were on the farm. A Jewish boy, whom he and his wife were hiding, escaped in panic when he saw the Germans approaching.

– What a nice picture here on the wall – started one of the Germans during the house search. – Did any of these people help you? Do you recognize someone? – A German put a barrel to Malka’s temple.

– This one…, this one… and this one. And this one too – the girl pointed to Władysław and his three brothers.

– And that’s what we wanted, you idiot – one of the gendarmes was growling.

At the same time, Władysław, unaware of the incident, was calmly returning from Kańczuga. Anna, his wife, stayed in the city to take care of other things. The Germans captured Wladyslaw on the road. They took him home and there, in front of his eyes, they started to plunder more valuable objects. Before the further, last journey in his life, Władysław managed to tell his children: „Sit here, children, sit here. Mummy will come’. The Germans pushed him out. Without shoes… It was on 4 December 1942. A striking chill. They walked with him through the village and pulled out of the houses Poles indicated by Malka Schönfeld one by one. Finally, they stopped in the Lewandowski’s yard. There, they murdered the hosts, i.e. Wincenty and Emilia Lewandowski, as well as Emilia Hałyś, Jakub and Zofia Kuszek, their daughter Justyna Kubicka, and of course Władysław Deca. When it started to get darker, the command fell: ” And now for the rest of Decs, to the Hadel forester’s lodge.”

The three brothers knew nothing about the murder in Pantalowice and did not expect a raid. When they heard a suspicious noise, there was no time for a rescue. The Germans shot all three of them. „They only left their parents paralysed by the murder, who had no idea about helping the Jews.

The case of the bunker constructed by the Decs has not yet been closed. The Germans knew that the Jews hiding there were also helped by the residents of nearby Grzegorzówka. Their proceedings therefore demanded immediate punishment. Death, to be clear. This is how Władysław Jasiński, Sylwester Nycz, Grzegorz Wojturski, Henryk Gajda and Stanisław Pelc died, after having been tortured. They were punished for helping another man.


  • Bracia Decowie

    Bracia Decowie