We’ll teach them a lesson, hehe – the German laughed nervously.
We’ll finally slaughter this pack. And now bring me these two Jews in here. Hurry! – he commanded.
After a little while, two men stood before him: one from Warsaw, the other – Szymel Helman – from Sterdynia.
You will join the fugitives from the Sterdyń ghetto and learn everything about them. I want to know the names of all the filthy Poles from Paulinów and the surrounding areas, who even gave them a slice of bread. I want to know who hid them, who gave food, who looked after their health and who informed them about the situation. Also, I want to have all of the hiding Jews. You got it ?! – shouted the German. He was already planning a manhunt and pacification of the village.
Both spies successfully penetrated the refugees’ environment. They scrupulously noted names, addresses, descriptions of various situations and passed it to the Germans. Thanks to them, the impatient Germans could move on to dealings with Poles and end the issue of fugitive Jews. The action was spectacular. On Tuesday night, February 23 and Wednesday, February 24, 1943, two thousand soldiers and policemen from Ostrów Mazowiecka and about 60 cars densely surrounded Paulinów and nearby villages. A 10-kilometer stretch of the road from Sterdyń-Sokołów, through the Zembrowski forest, to Wymysły, Ratyniec through Dąbrówka and back was occupied. The murder was methodical, the German way, according to the list.
All right guys, let’s go! Number one to gun down: Kierylak Franciszek. A guard of the landowner’s buildings – a German officer read with contempt in his voice.
He allowed the Jews to sleep in the stables – he continued.
Next: Augustyniak Franciszek, his father-in-law Siwiński Jan and Wiktorzak Aleksandra – he could barely pronounce the Polish names.
Let’s get down to business, they will go first- the German ordered.
It happened just as he said it would.
Stanisław Piwko who mercifully offered bread to Jewish children, will join these vermin – he drawled with disgust.
And then next to shoot: Zygmunt Drgas, Stanisław Kotowski, Marian Nowicki, Stanisław Piwko, Zygmunt Uziębło, Józef and Ewa Kotowski with the kids – these were also giving bread, as well as Wacław Pogorzelski, Jan Siwiński, Franciszek Śliwiński – instructed his subordinates.
Oh, and loot their valuables. Anyway, I think this goes without saying – he added.
The Germans were eager to follow the orders. From the Kotowski family, they managed to murder the parents of Ewa and Józef and their son Stanisław. Thanks to mother’s instructions, Kazimierz successfully bypassed the German blockade and managed to escape. Czesław also managed to escape alive, as did 18-year-old Stanisława.
In the same year, two Stanisławs were taken to Treblinka: Mazurek and Kusiak. While digging trenches, Czesław Borowy, Jan Brzozowski and Stanisław Hendoszko died.
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