– Don’t move, Sophie. You just sit here and I’ll go get some lilies with alcohol on. I have to disinfect it, so that the filth doesn’t get into it – said with concern Victoria Kosiarczyk, Sophie Kucharska’s mother. The young woman was sitting on the bed with a sore, and a nail was sticking out of her foot. She accidentally stepped on it, walking through the courtyard. There were various types of scrap metal, as in the case of construction. Sophie’s brother, Andrew, was just finishing building a new barn. It was 9 October 1943. The sun was already slowly disappearing behind the horizon. Maria, a distant cousin of the Kosiarczyks, who stayed with them in exchange for help at the farm, was about to return to the house. She was about to start herding cows outside the forest when she suddenly noticed three German cars. Uniformed and heavily armed Germans got out of them. – Holy Lady! They are coming to us… to murder… because of the Jews, whom in the barn – she moaned under her nose. And she was right. There was a dugout in the barn, in which nine Jews were hiding.
After a few minutes, the Germans were there. Katherine and Andrew Kosiarczyk, who were busy finishing the barn, were the first to be murdered, in front of their little children, Sophie and Thaddeus. Then they entered the house. There they found Andrew’s mother Victoria, her daughter Sophie Kucharska with her husband Roman and two little boys: five-year-old Joey and two-year-old Henry. The adults were shot dead immediately. They also reserved a bullet for Joey. The boy slipped to the ground. He lost consciousness.
When he awakened, clouds of smoke were swarming around and the house was on fire. The boy, with his willpower, gathered himself off the ground and slipped out of the burning building. Outside, there were horrible sounds of burning livestock alive. The new barn was also on fire. – Joey! – the boy overheard from behind his back. Sophie and Thaddeus, his cousins, the Kosiarczyks’ orphans, called out for him. Joey realised that he had a numb arm and that there was blood shed from underneath the shirt that was ragged on his back. In this state he reached the Stasiak’s house. Helen Stasiak treated the boy’s arm, which had been torn and shattered, who had lost consciousness again in pain. Her father took him to the hospital in Lublin. The treatment lasted over 3 months – until 22 January 1944. The five-year-old cripple was taken care of by relatives. His two-year-old brother escaped from the execution unscathed. His aunt, Stephanie Kosiarczyk, found him cuddled up in the body of his murdered mother. She ran away with him from the burning house, crawling through fields. Shortly afterwards, the orphaned boy found himself in an orphanage.
Until 9 October 1943 two young families with small children and a grandmother lived in one house in the Bystrzejowice stronghold. The cousins grew up together, they played together. They had loving parents. In one evening the Germans ruined their whole life. In front of their eyes, they murdered their parents, took away their happy childhood and messed up their minds. Joseph became a handicap for the rest of his life.
Victoria was 58 years old at the time of her death.
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