ks. Wincenty Kuras
A year before the outbreak of the war, on September 1, 1938, the authorities of the Michalite Order entrusted Father Wincenty Kuras with the post of director of the educational institution in Dziadkowicze. ” Dear God, give light and strength. I know the mission will be difficult, however, with your guidance I will manage. Please help me.” – A priest ordained just two years earlier prayed. In the facility to which he was directed, there were mainly children who were morally and materially neglected. At that time, they were only boys. Father Wincenty poured hope into their hearts: for a good life, for a beautiful youth. In addition to education and preparation for specific professions, Father took great care of their emotional, cultural and spiritual development. Music and theatre were important to him and he shared these passions with his pupils. In a short time he won the hearts of both the little ones and the older ones. The boys were standing behind him: „He is ours,” they said. When the war came, Father Wincenty protected his pupils from being taken to Germany for forced labour. None of them allowed to be taken.
Occupational terror was on the rise, and with it, the number of those in need. Three children of Jewish origin found shelter with „priest from orphans”: two boys and one girl. The priest also hid the couple and a man with Jewish roots. The situation began in 1941. In the first days of the summer of the following year a manhunt was organized in Baranów County. Many Poles, representatives of the Polish intelligence, including Father Kuras, were arrested. He was charged with hiding Jews and helping them. He was held for two weeks in the prison in Baranowicze. On July 13, 1942, in the prison courtyard, the SS men together with Ukrainian policemen executed the captured Poles. They tied them up with barbed wire, threw them on trucks and took them to the site of the crime. There, with two or four of them, they shot the victims standing over the previously dug pit. The Jews hidden by a Polish priest were murdered while still in Dziadkowicze, and three children were killed in the first days of July in a mass execution in a forest near Połonka.
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