Stefan and Cecylia Tuchołkowie from Mielęcin
Stefan and Cecylia Tuchołek lived with their children in Mielęcin village (Kępno voivodeship). “On 22nd of November 1940 we were expelled by the Germans1. They took us by cart to Kępno village to German police station.” There the officers ordered people to enter the rail cars. On this day, many families from surrounding areas were expelled to Łódź. At first, everyone was in a transitional camp, where they slept under their own coats. The conditions were difficult. „We couldn’t take anything from Mielęcin. From this camp the Germans were taking people to forced labor in Germany, to the camps, such as Auschwitz. We were taken to the General Province, in the village of Buczkowice near Włoszczowy. It was 1941”. Later Tuchołek family was taken to Snowicz village (region Złoczów).
Stefan Tuchołek worked in Snowicz as a brewer. Before the war the owner of the brewery was a Jew – Dr. Szpindel. After some time, the Germans dismantled the bussines and took out the equipment. Despite that, Tuchołeks still lived at the second floor of the brewery.
„One night Jews came to us – Dr. Szpindel with his wife, father-in-law and brother-in-law, who escaped from the ghetto in Złoczów. They begged my parents on knees to let them stay and hide. They agreed”. Kon and Bart – were other Jews that were also hiding near the brewery.
They didn’t go to the ghetto so they had to find a safe place. They were coming to Tuchołek family for food which they always get from them.
One day to the family came the cart and on it the Ukrainian. The man knew that Tuchołek were hiding Jews. He took their bedding. He said that it will be for the Jew, who previously hid at their apartment. Stefan and Cecylia knew that they are in great danger. Their secret was out. „[…] I remember my mother’s despair, how she cried as we lived in constant fear.”.
On 19th July.1943 home of the family was attacked by the Ukrainians. They tried to kill them. Stefan barricaded the front door with a heavy box.. The Ukrainians shot three times in the window, causing injury to Cecylia, who was standing nearby. However, Tuchołek managed to escape and to go to Busk village nearby the Bug river (near Kamionka Stumilowa).There, they survived the German occupation.
„In 1944 we managed to return to Poland to Tarnów”. All the Jews that family hid during war also survived.
- Stefan and Cecylia tuchołkowie Tuchołka), 10.2013 r.
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