Wilamowice is a town located between Oświęcim and Bielsko-Biała. During the German occupation it was incorporated into the Reich. Occupant treated it like a colony and put the inhabitants to germanization. They were forced to sign the German list of ethnic hatred – the so called volksliste. It was signed, among the others, by a Pole, who married a Jew Sznicer and had children with him. She worried about their fate, because they were in danger of being relocated to the ghetto, and even death. Her husband, Sznicer, was hiding in Wilamowice.

Sznicer stayed, among the others, at Jan Wyrobka’s place. Then he moved to his neighbour, Piotr Bolączka, who knew German language. Persuaded by Jan, he also signed the Volksliste. He hopped that by doing that, the likelihood of the inspection at his farm was getting lower. However, the Volksliste did not guarantee complete safety, as the Germans searched the Volksdeutche houses, looking for the young people hiding from the enlistment.

One day, two Germans from the outpost in Wilamowice entered the Bolączka’s home. It was the commandant and his deputy Juretko. It wasn’t known if they were going to make the inspection, but Sznicer, hiding in the attic – when he heard a conversation in German language – became frightened, ran down the stairs and passed by the Germans. The man ran onto the field. The command „Halt” was issued twice – to which he didn’t respond. He was shot by the commandant’s deputy. Farmer Gandor was transporting manure nearby, so the Germans called him, and forced him to take the Sznicer’s corpse to Wilamowice. The body went to the Oświęcim’s crematory. Germans entered the attic where Sznicer was hiding. They found documents there, that testified to his Jewish origins.

Occupants threatened Piotr, telling him that he will be transported to Auschwitz along with his family. He tried to to save them by claiming that he didn’t know about the Jew hiding in the attic of his house. He said that his door is only temporary, and everyone can open it. He also added, that the new one was being made by the carpenter. Commandant went to the carpenter, to check if he was telling the truth, and his deputy took Piotr Bolączka straight to the office. On the way, he advised him what to say during the interrogation.

„Juretko was very displeased with what happened. He regretted, that he had killed a man. Juretka’s wife, who settled with him in Wilamowice, was a very religious person. She reached the victims family and comforted them”.1 Sznicer’s son survived the occupation.

The Bolączka family was spared by the Germans because they believed in their explanation.


  1. FLV, List od Jana Wyrobka z 26.09.2013, Wilamowice.