On 10th of October the orphanage form Grabie village was moved to the territory of General Governorship. Children and three sisters: Gertruda Marciniak, Konkordia Jankowska and Ludwika Małkiewicz – went on a journey: „on 5 a.m. in front of the house stopped 3 large cars, in which were loaded children and nuns.”1.

At the beginning nuns and their pupils lived in Świdr village, later in Otwock. The difficult financial situation of children’s home was no barrier to the salvation of the children of Jewish origin. Even the law that punished people with death for helping Jews couldn’t changed Ludwika’s Małkiewicz decision. She knew that Germans could find out about her help provided for Jewish children and kill her any day but that didn’t scared her. She was able to overcome the fear of losing her own life to save innocent children. ”2

Sisters in Otwock hid Jewish children that parents were in ghetto or were trying to survive. In the planning of escaping children helped Ms. Adamowicz. She cooperated with the Guardianship Department city of Warsaw on the street Złota 2. Sister Ludwika was responsible for contact with Jewish parents. She was acquiring documents and bringing kids to the safe houses. She consulted and decided every action with nun Gertruda Marciniak. Contact with Jewish family’s was possible thanks to the hotel owner in Świdr were at first nuns could created their own safe house. His name was Józef Kapłon. Sister Ludwika visited him on every Sunday. Jewish community quickly trusted her.

Among survivors were: Daniel Lancberg (3 years old), whom parents asked to baptize him, Rut Noy, and Salome Rybak (13 years old).

The sisters lived in constant fear. One day, one of the hidding boys ran to the kitchen where he looked out of the window. German soldiers, who accused before the sisters of hiding Jewish children, had noticed him. Only Gertruda’s calm and tranquility saved the family members from death. „One of the sisters, unable to control the Germans, brought Gertruda Marciniak, who knew German well. She peacefully explained that they did not hide any Jews. […] s. Gertrude, in support of the veracity of her words, proposed that the boy should hug those gentlemen who are so beautifully dressed. The boy, very trusting with the sisters, reached out his hands in the direction of the soldiers. „The Germans were confused and left the house.”

After the war, the Noy family applied to the Yad Vashem Institute for an award.

Sister Ludwika was named as the Righteous among the Nations and called her „the mother of the Otwock ghetto”.3

During the World War II, about 40 Jewish children were hiding in the Otwock Children’s Home. For their courage and dedication, Sr. Gertrude Marciniak and Sr. Ludwika Małkiewicz received the title of Righteous Among the Nations.


  1. J. Grążawski, Kronika powołań kapłańskich i zakonnych miasta i okolicy Brodnicy n. Drwęcą 1926-1996, Ząbki 1998 r.
  2. Z. Nosowski, W naszym klasztorze Żydów szukać?, „Gazeta Otwocka”, wydanie z lipca 2012 r.
  3. K. Sztylc, S. Ludwika Małkiewicz i jej działalność w Domu Dziecka w Otwocku w czasie II wojny światowej, Toruń 2009 r.