In the description of merits of people recognized by Yad Vashem as "Righteous among Nations", in the following pages, you will find that many other Poles, not mentioned here, also paid with their lives. The Main Commission for Investigation of Crimes against the Polish Nation, having other priorities, did not verify them yet. 

To the list of 704 Polish Christians killed for having helped Jews during the 2nd World War should be added a new case, recognized by Yad Vashem as "the 26th among those killed “Righteous Among the Nations" that of: 


The representative of the Polish Red Cross in Hungary he took care of refugees. He procured false documents to the Jews. When the Germans invaded Hungary in March 1944, they burst immediately into his office and shot him for that "crime". The medal was conferred on Jan. 14, 1999 in Warsaw.

Up to now [2001] it has been verified that 705 Poles were killed for helping Jews.

Here are 14 other cases of people killed, although not yet confirmed decisively by the Main Commission for Investigation of Crimes against the Polish Nation. They are followed by several stories of saving, which seem most meritorious, but did not bring the recognition, except one and that only partially. The editor’s appeal to the saved concludes this section. 

BALCEREK, Stanislaw 


SKRZYPINSKI: all three were members of the Polish resistance AK (Home Army) under the command of Col. Stanislaw Burza-Karlinski, operating in the area of Piotrków Trybunalski.  The Gestapo killed them for procuring hundreds of false documents for Jews.  The AK (Home Army) was the most important resistance movement in occupied Europe, comprising ca. 380,000 fighters. 

CZUBACKI, Marianna, born HARMACINSKI from Tysmienica, Bielskopodlaskie prov. The Germans killed her at the age of 43, on Dec. 6, 1942, together with the Jews she helped.  In the period 1940-1942 she brought food every day to several Jews hidden in a bunker in the nearby forest. She left five small children.

DYBKA, Jozef, a county clerk, in Nisko, was shot by gendarmes for having inscribed false names on German documents for a Jewish couple, who were later discovered in another town and killed. 

GROCHOLSKI, Emil: born 1920 in Przemysl. He took part with his elder brother, Kazimierz, with Adolf and Marian Baran, and with Leon (or Leopold) Jaroszkiewicz, (we have the exact addresses of each of them) in transferring hundreds of Jews from the western part of Poland under German occupation to the eastern part under Soviet Russian occupation. They had to cross the river San in the vicinity of a brewery in Ostrow near Przemysl. Both sides of the river were covered by dense wire entanglements and were patrolled by German and Soviet border guards. The boats had to be dragged through the wire entanglements at night, in complete darkness and silence and guided through a very swift currant to the eastern side. The disembarkation of the passengers, contrary to previous agreements, was as a rule very noisy, which attracted the Soviets attention. The return trip had to be done most often under a heavy Russian fire, as the Soviets did not tolerate anyone crossing to the German side. Emil was shot at the head and died 2 hours later. He was buried at Zasan. 

JACZYNSKI, Michal, a captain of cavalry, invalid from the campaign of September 1939, resident in the manor of Sobienie Szlacheckie, Siedlce prov. The estate belonged to Zofia countess Jezierski. Arrested for his part in helping Jews, on June 15, 1942, just a day before his marriage to the countess, he was killed at the Gestapo Headquarters on the Aleja Szucha in Warsaw. 

JEZIERSKI, Zofia, countess, born princess POTOCKI, a widow, owner of Sobienie Szlacheckie, harboured in her manor, among other people two Jews (under assumed names).  She ordered also to leave a cart of potatoes for the Jews of Sobienie Jeziory, a nearby village, twice a week. When the Germans found out about this food supply, they arrested her, together with Captain Jaczynski, (see above) on June 15, 1942, just a day before their marriage. She has been shot at the notorious execution grounds at Palmiry near Warsaw.  A male servant present at the manor was also killed. 

LECHKI, Anna, born TUREK in August 1894. Similarly to Marianna Czubacki- (see above) she agreed to bring food regularly to a group of 15-16 Jews hiding in a bunker in the woods. The Germans discovered the bunker and killed most of them, but 5 managed to escape. As they revealed who helped them, Anna was imprisoned in fall of 1943 in Drohobycz and killed in March 1944.  She left six children, two of them under age.

LEWINSKI (BROCHWICZ), Lucjan, a lawyer, gave refuge for several weeks to a Jewish colleague, advocate Z., until that last managed to leave the country. For that help Lucjan was taken to Auschwitz, in fall of 1942, from where he never returned.  All search for advocate Z. proved futile.

MAZURKIEWICZ, Kornelia, born 1880 at Podhajce, a teacher from Lvov (city incorporated after the war into the Soviet Ukraine). In February and March of 1942 she hid a Jew, Henryk E. S. (born ca. 1908 in Vienna) in her apartment. He had to hide himself first from the NKWD and then from the Germans in Stanislawow.  Denounced by some Ukrainian neighbors he escaped to Przemysl to the Jozefik family. Discovered by chance again, he went from there to Lvov to Kornelia. He slipped away to the barber, quarreled there with a German officer and was shot by him on the spot. His protector was taken away, never to be seen again.

TUKALLO, Zofia, a widow, took into her manor two Jewish families of Lida, (town incorporated into the Soviet Byelorussia) those of the local physician and dentist.  The German discovered her and shoot her with the two families, leaving orphans her three children aged 14, 13 and the youngest boy of 10, with an amputated leg. 

WRZOSEK, Franciszek, a peasant, hid 29 Jews on his farm. The Germans came and shot most of them, taking Franciszek and the rest of the Jews to the Treblinka camp.  He never returned. There were 8 Polish witnesses, of whom 3 were forced to bury the dead Jews in an unmarked grave in the forest.  The Jewish Historical Institute in Warsaw checked the facts. We are in possession of the Institute's letter to Yad Vashem, of Dec. 31, 1984, stating that they investigated the facts and that they suggest that this case be positively dealt with. It never was.

PRIEST from Wolkolaty was sheltering Jews. When the Germans learned this, they dispatched a local policeman to arrest him. But he did not feel right to do it and suggested to the priest to ask his guests to leave and to go into hiding himself. The priest, in order not to endanger the policeman for disobeying orders, presented himself to the Germans who promptly killed him.  See p. 144 of the book by Joseph Riwash: "Resistance and Revenge; 1939-1949".  Mount Royal, [Montreal, the author, 1981]

The State o Israel, by its Yad Vashem Institute, awarded the medal of "Righteous among the Nations" to more Poles than to any other nationals, for helping Jews during the war. That help was given in spite of the danger of an automatic death sentence, often for the entire family and neighbors, passed only in occupied Poland and not in Western Europe. These death sentences were widely publicized in towns and in the country. Here are several stories, known to us since many years, which did not result in death of the protagonists.  These people in spite of being most meritorious are not recognized as “Righteous”.  The editor presents some of them to give the reader just an idea of what might be behind any of the thousands of names, which will follow later. 

CATHOLIC CLERGY in Lvov.  In their very moving and thoughtful book “Our Journey in the Valley of Tears” (Toronto, University of Toronto Press, 1991) the Doctors couple, both psychiatrists, Andrzej and Karolina Jus relate how some members of the clergy of Lvov, particularly H.E. the Bishop Baziak, two Bernardine friars, Father Wilhelm and especially Father Alojzy and a nun Filomena helped them with food, empathy and all kinds of assistance. Karolina, born in Vienna with documents stamped as being of Jewish religion, decided on her own to be baptized and marry Andrzej in the Catholic church.  The bishop, very open-minded and critical of any form of anti-Semitism, was so supportive that he promised that all priests under his jurisdiction will protect the future young couple and offered asylum in the monastery for Karolina’s father and in a women convent for her mother and sister, with the assurance that no proposals will be made to them to convert to Catholicism. Karolina with her sister Zosia and some other young Jewish girls were forced to do some cleaning job for the Germans.  Thanks to the excellent German language and quick wits of Zosia they both returned home when all the other young people were killed. Father Alojzy helped Andrzej to prepare false documents of baptism and marriage, dating them earlier, as of 1938. He baptized Karolina and married them. Under the German rule Andrzej and his family would be subject to the same persecution as if they were Jews. Karolina’s father, Juliusz, overoptimistic, and unwilling to separate from his family, refused the bishop’s offer and moved with his wife Dorota and daughter Zosia to a village called Orelec. The Jus couple moved later to another small locality, Uherce, where Andrzej’s aunt lived with seven children and where he would work as a country doctor. That brave widow thought from the beginning that Karolina was of Jewish background but never asked questions and all treated her like family. In Orelec the Germans after a year shot in a most cruel way Karolina’s father, Juliusz, mother Dorota and sister Zosia with about a hundred of local Jews. A teacher of that village, JANKA (her family name is unknown) always helped them; she also was executed at the end of the war. The couple Jus, unable to withstand the communist regime in Poland, sojourned some time in France and England but finally came to Canada. They were well received and respected and hold fruitful and important positions in the scientific world.  But all the efforts of Dr. Karolina Jus to get the Yad Vashem recognition for all the people who protected her at such a tremendous risk, proved futile.

The second case, also not resolved yet, is that of Wanda KAPUSCINSKI, born TRZASKA-ZAKRZEWSKI, still living. She among others saved Zofia Lewin, co-editor of the books of Bartoszewski, (q.v. in the bibliography) cited here very often.  She wrote in both of these books: "My appearance was not revealing; born a Catholic…I did not differ in any way from my contemporaries with the required number of "Aryan" grandparents (none of mine was OK). Nevertheless, I was, of course, a mortal danger to anybody who accepted me in his home or helped me in any way…That I feel deep gratitude is, of course, obvious.  I cite a few: Antoni Krahelski…his daughter, Mrs. Celinska and Jan Jozef.  Wanda Kapuscinska…took me into her house, risking her own life and those of her mother and her only child…When I warned her, telling her who I was, I learned that she knew the truth when she made the proposal." Wanda Kapuscinski kept in her house also the mother of Zofia, who was not baptized as a Catholic, like her daughter, but as she does not live anymore, there is no confirmation by a person of Jewish faith. Published materials are not taken in consideration.

The third case is the family KAZURO that lived in Zareze, prov. of Vilna, at the time under German occupation.  It consisted of 6 persons: the parents Karol and Maria, the maternal grandmother and their three children aged 10, 15 and 20 years old. For a three year period from about 1941, the family Kazuro hid four members of the Gordon family: Wolf, Rachel and their two children, 5 and 9 years old.  They had barely managed to escape the Dunilowicze ghetto from under German fire. In another part of the same house, lived the Karol’s brother who was unaware of the four hidden Jews. Karol’s and Maria’s windows faced a house 100 yards distant that was occupied by a Pole, who worked as a policeman in the ghetto. He visited them often to take a bath in their “Turkish” bathhouse and so was a constant threat to them.  The Kazuros hid the fugitives under a stack of straw in a corner of the barn. The Germans, informed about the fugitives, came several times to search the barn. Each time they lined up the Kazuro family against the wall ready to shoot them. When they came the third time the Jews were just then taking a bath in the bathhouse. Karol invited the Germans including their sentry to have some vodka and then asked their permission to send his son to the bathhouse, supposedly to look after some meat being smoked there. The Jews alerted in time, escaped in the snow and hid in the brush. They became ill and Maria nursed them as best she could. Obtaining sufficient food for ten persons was a major difficulty. Aside from unexpected German inspections, partisans, or armed robbers, who pretended to be partisans, visited the Kazuros.  They frequently confiscated anything they could find: food, clothes, blankets, even hens and geese. At one moment the partisans wanted to set fire to the neighbors house, but Karol beseeched their commandant to desist as the barn in which the Gordon family was hidden was very close to it.  After three years of that nerve-wracking situation, when the Gordons took leave of them, everybody wept. Wolf and Rachel Gordon are no longer alive, but their children live in Toronto and from time to time send some money to the only surviving member of the Kazuro family - the youngest daughter - Romualda now married as Soroko, who lives with her husband in Poland. Romualda’s only wish however is for the Kazuro family to be recognized as “Righteous”. Despite many letters and telephone calls since 1990 from this researcher and from other persons to the Gordon children and to Yad Vashem, no statement at the Israeli Consulate in Toronto, indispensable for such recognition, as far as we know, was deposited there.  Joseph Riwash on the p. 144 of his book: “Resistance and Revenge 1939-1949”.  [Town of Mount Royal, Quebec, 1981] mentions the saving of the Gordon family by the Kazuros.

The forth case is that of Stanislaw PUCHALSKI who lived in Nisko, South East of Sandomierz.  He was asked in 1942 by some Jewish acquaintances to procure them false documents that would look really genuine. He photographed them himself in a way to lessen their Jewish features. For Christian baptismal certificates he traveled to another locality and when visiting the parish priest there, in a moment of the priest’s absence, he pinched some blank baptismal forms, on which he put the names of his relatives either deceased or staying abroad. A Polish county clerk, Jozef Dybka, inscribed these names on the German identification documents, called “Kennkarte”, destined for the hiding Jews. All people had to have a German identification document, the "Kennkarte". With these documents two Jewish couples left as Christian Poles for other towns; a girl left for Austria, and a young man for Germany. The couple B., before leaving, entrusted Stanislaw with the care of their 5 years old son, Joseph. Unfortunately after a certain time Germans discovered that they were Jews and killed them; they shot also the county clerk, Jozef Dybka for writing their names on their "Kennkarten". The other couple, Chaim F and his wife, fortunately survived and out of gratitude, offered Stanislaw their house. He however declined the offer. He took the 5 years old Joseph home where he lived with his mother, Anna Puchalski born Olko and an orphaned little girl adopted by her in place of her daughter, Bronia, killed in the bombardment of 1939. He told the boy that from now on he will bear the same family name as himself and that of his supposed parents, cousins of Stanislaw, who lived on the Baltic sea coast, but have been deported to Germany.  The boy adjusted well to his new family; the two children played together and recited Christian prayers together. But neighbors began talking that the boy might be Jewish. Stanislaw sensing the danger, took him to another locality, and placed him with the family of his paternal uncle, Kazimierz Puchalski, living in a forester’s hut, with his wife Emilia Puchalski born Molch and 5 children. Just a few weeks before their arrival misfortune struck. Some Germans had shot Stanislaw’s uncle in a group of 40 Poles and 6 Jews. His oldest son and daughter had been taken for forced labor to Germany. His widow, Emilia, under the shock of that triple tragedy, had a breakdown, took ill and became incapable to care for the family. All the responsibility for the homestead, the ailing mother, the youngest boy Frank and Joseph, fell on the shoulders of the 17 years old daughter, Stefania and her 14 years old brother, also Stanislaw, (both still living). For the little Joseph, who delighted in the warm milk directly from the cow, it was not a serene period though. Soon approached the nationalist Ukrainians of the OUN-UPA bands, burning Polish villages and killing their inhabitants, men, women and children by the thousands. See: the book by M. Terles: "Ethnic Cleansing of Poles in Wolhynia and Eastern Galicia 1942-1946".  Toronto, Alliance of the Pol. East. Prov., 1993 and that by the Ukrainian author Polishchuk, Victor: "Bitter Thruth; The Criminality of the OUN and UPA". Toronto, Wiktor Poliszczuk, 1999. See also the huge (1440 pp.) documentary book of the Siemaszkos’. The forester’s family, like other Poles, had to escape from rapes, mutilations and murders, this time by the hands of the OUN-UPA bands, and to take refuge in the woods.  Each night Stefania grabbed her younger brother Frank with one arm and Joseph with the second arm, and ran with the rest of the family deeper into the forest. But they kept Joseph for those two harrowing years.  Finally they brought him further, to the brother of the first Stanislaw’s grandfather, Jan Puchalski, with his wife Wiktoria and four children (the three younger still living) who were not exposed to the OUN-UPA incursions.  With them the little Joseph stayed happily till the war’s end. Later the other Jewish couple, saved by Stanislaw, Chaim F. and his wife adopted Joseph. Of the young man who left for Germany nothing was heard.  Lately the girl who left Poland on the documents of Bronia, Stanislaw’s sister, appeared and supposedly is willing to make the necessary deposition at the Israeli Consulate. Anna Puchalski, Stanislaw’s mother, died at the end of March 1994, a month before her 100th anniversary. A few days later arrived the first letter from Joseph F. for which she waited so long. Joseph’s adoptive parents passed away in 1998. Yad Vashem recognized Stanislaw, his mother Anna, Jan and Wiktoria Puchalski as "Righteous" on March 13, 2000. Cases: 6944 and 6944a. The teenagers Stefania and her brother Stanislaw, who seem to be the most deserving, are not recognized. The first Stanislaw Puchalski died on Aug. 20, 2000. Their cause started in 1993. 

The fifth case is that of Antoni RENSKI. He published a book "Czytanie z dloni". Warszawa [MON, 1983] (425 pp). Written as an autobiographical novel (rewarded as the best of the year) in the first person, it is in reality, except for two details, the exact account of his experiences during the war.  As a 17 years old boy scout, following the suggestion of the underground, he entered 180 (one hundred eighty) times the Warsaw ghetto, each time risking his life, to extricate from it Jewish intelligentsia: lawyers, doctors, writers, artists, musicians, actors, some of them several times, as they returned to the ghetto to visit their families. He succeeded without one mishap, accompanying them to shelters on the ‘Aryan’ (Polish) side. He still remembers - when this researcher visits him - many of their names and even addresses. Antoni took part in the Ghetto Uprising, (1943) and left the ghetto by sewers, even after Marek Edelman.  Arrested and tortured on Aleja Szucha, he spent time in various concentration camps, but survived them all. The first Israeli ambassador in Poland, H. E. Dr. Mordecai Palzur, wrote a letter to Antoni on his last day in Poland, that he values highly his book and takes it with him to Israel.  Several registered letters of this researcher to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and to the private address of the ambassador in Israel did not bring any reply. For the 50th anniversary of the Ghetto Uprising visited Antoni two persons he thus saved. They told him that they could not make any deposition to Yad Vashem on his behalf, because they did not tell their families about their experiences during the war… In connection with this, please look up: “The Report of Juergen Stroop Concerning the Uprising in the Ghetto of Warsaw and the Liquidation of the Jewish Residential Area”. Warsaw, Jewish Historical Institute, 1958. In it the German general in 32 instances writes of some form of help coming from the Polish side and makes a clear distinction between the fighting Jews and the Polish bandits, whom he calls all communists, (or criminals, terrorists and subhumans). The JHI in 5 notes of its commentary explains that the “Polish bandits” means Poles fighting on their own, helping the Jews, representing all classes of society and being of different political ideas.  As Stroop tells that many had been shot and Renski remembers about 20 who survived the Uprising, there must have been quite a number of them. 

Another case is that of Jerzy SKRODZKI. (1910-1989), (nephew of the heroic President of Warsaw, Stefan Starzynski., executed by Germans). he was in the AK (Home Army), hold later several important posts in export-import business and in consulates in various countries, was a great humanitarian. He spent his last years in Canada, highly decorated for his merits, but invalid.  Following is the notarized translation of a letter he got from Warsaw of Nov. 20, 1974. “Dear Mr. Skrodzki: I learned with great joy that you survived the war and are alive and well in Canada. With utmost gratitude I remember your help in those most terrible times you gave my brother, Jakub Gingold and his wife. I remember well that my brother found refuge in your office at No. 9 Kredytowa St. and his wife with some of your acquaintances. I too was hidden in that office several times.  I remember equally well that even before our escape from the ghetto you used to send us food through a Polish policeman, named Stanislaw Weglewski.  And where you learned about the illness of my brother Jacob (bedridden with typhoid fever) you sent him, among other things, medicine, glucose, vitamins, etc. I remember how your wife gave my sister-in-law her own small golden cross to make her appear a Catholic. You also provided my brother with (false) documents in the name of Wladyslaw Zarebski.  My brother and his wife did not live through the war. Enticed to come to the Hotel Polski and not realizing the monstrous subterfuge of the hitlerite criminals, they fell in the hands of the Gestapo. Recollecting those terrible times I want to thank you from all my heart for such humanitarian aid. I also want to render homage to many other Poles for their spirit of sacrifice during the war when coming to the rescue of Poles of Jewish origin. I send you my heartiest greetings and I hope that we might still meet some day. Signed: Nachman Gingold – now Jerzy J., resident in Warsaw (address)”. But later Nachman Gingold, fearing some supposed “unpleasantness from Jerusalem”, retracted his letter.  Jerzy Skrodzki related to this writer, that in the help to the Gingold family participated about 30 people, among them workers in the German run paper manufacture, who in order to escape search at the door, placed on their breasts the paper suitable for the fabrication of the false German documents, still hot and wet. The letter and other Mr. Skrodzki’s papers are in possession of this researcher. 

Finally I wish to present here the case of Aniela-Alicja WARYSZEWSKI, born PODOGRODZKI. As a young mother she helped many Jews, sometimes with the help of her parents and brother. She was arrested and badly beaten on the head on Aleja Szucha. By a miracle the torturer saw in her a likeness of his wife.  He relented and called a dentist. We have the dentist's statement about the grave wounds she suffered on her head and teeth. Years ago a man on the Sherbrooke Street in Montreal asked her if she is the Alicja who saved him during the war. Recognizing her he felt right there on his knees. Benjamin Rosenbaum made a beautiful statement at the Israeli Congress, not knowing that it should be done only at the Israeli Consulate. He named about a dozen of names of other Jews saved by her. We are in possession of that statement as well as of a letter by the Congress of the same date, confirming his story.  And that was the end of it. When after 3 years and a half Yad Vashem learned about the case and tried to contact Benjamin Rosenbaum, it was impossible to locate him. All quests proved futile. And so Alicja did not get the medal she so richly deserved. She passed on Oct. 6, 2001.


I launch here our most urgent and heartfelt appeal to all those who were so saved themselves and also to their families. Please, please, go to Yad Vashem or, if you do not resdide in Israel, to the nearest Israeli Consulate or to a religious center. Bring with you a written story of the rescue.  Write as many details as you can: Who saved you and who helped him/her, even if those persons do not live anymore. Write, please, how, when, and how long. Sign it, please, only in front of the authorities there, giving them your address. Bring along some identification, possibly with your photo. Ask them for a copy for yourself and send another copy yourself by registered mail to The Holocaust Martyrs and Heroes Remembrance Authority, Dept. for the Righteous, P. O. Box 3477, Jerusalem 91034, Israel.  No costs or obligations are involved if you tell those officials that it is a deposition about a saving action during the Holocaust. 

This is the only way to get those worthy people the rare and most distinguished award in the form of a medal, a certificate and the right to have their name(s) engraved on the wall of Honor at Yad Vashem as "Righteous among the Nations".  As no money could pay for a life saved or for a life endangered, only such moral recognition of their humanity, which reached heroic heights, is the most beautiful way of thanking them. Naturally Yad Vashem takes into account only cases of disinterested help. Any financial arrangements, exceeding the payment of upkeep costs, when necessary during such rescue, are outside of consideration.