The priest Romuald Jakub Weksler-Waszkinel was a Polish Catholic priest of Jewish origin. For some time he worked as a researcher at the John Paul the Second’s Catholic University of Lublin. At the age of 35, he found out about his double origin from his mother, Emilia Waszkinel. Already interested in his facial features, he checked for any similarities with his parents. He wondered why he couldn’t find any.

Emilia and Piotr Waszkinel had no children of their own. They lived in Łyntupy near Święcin. Emilia repeatedly appeared in the ghetto to help Jews. Most likely, that’s how she got in contact with the biological mother of priest Romuald. In 1941, the Germans killed almost every Jew from the Ghetto in Święciany. They alive only those, that could be needed. Priest Romuald’s family was among them. His parents and older brother – who was taken by the host for hiding. It didn’t take long for the boy to return to the ghetto. Priest Romuald was just a baby at the time, so they started to search for the hidding place for him. His biological mother begged Emilia, and she agreed to take him under her roof. The child was smuggled out of the ghetto. Mother left him at the window. Thus the boy was taken in by his Polish parents, whom he dearly loved. That’s how priest Romuald remembers the day that turned his whole life upside down: ” It happened on February 23. During dinner I asked: ” Mom, did you know any Jews in Święciny?”. Probably thinking that those were last moments of her life, she decided to tell him the whole truth”. “[..] You had great parents, who loved you very much, were Jews and were killed. I was only saving you from death”. Priest Romuald tried to figure out who he was. Thanks to a lucky meeting of Jews, who were originaly from the vicinity of Święcian, which was organized in Israel by nun Klara, traces of his origin were found. Nun Klara returned to Poland with a photo of priest’s biological mother.

Emilia and Piotr Waszkinel were awarded by the Yad Vashem Institute with the medal „Righteous Among the Nations of the World”.


  1. FLV, [materiał nadesłany, nadawca nieznany], J. Seremak, Jestem Żydem od Jezusa.