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Notes by Kazimierz Sawiński

These notes about the fate of a few Jews from Wielkie Oczy during the war have been written down by a chronicler of Wielkie Oczy, Mr. Kazimierz Sawiński (b. 1904, d. 1971) and kept in the possession of the former parish priest of Wielkie Oczy, Father Józef Kluz.

All documents, writings and papers of Kazimierz Sawiński were, after his death in 1971, collected, arranged and typewritten by his son Julian Sawinski. Almost all of these were published by Julian as a few typewritten copies in 1994 as Kronika (Chronicle) in 2 volumes. One of these was provided to David Majus by Julian's family after Julian's death.

Kronika does not include any information on fate of Wolff, Rychter and others as well as the death of Bronisław Pałczak in 1972 described below; rather, this information is described in a few pages that were provided by Father Kluz who indicated that he had received them from Julian before the latter's death. One can imagine that Sawiński would not want to recount these events in Kronika to avoid a conflict with descendants of Palczak who still live in Wielkie Oczy.

The most probable explanation for the inclusion of these in his father's memoir is that Julian arranged these pages and added the information that Palczak was released in 1972.

A Jewish family — the Wolffs

Parents: father Iciu, his wife Wollf Sara

Children: son Kałman, b. 1928, son Chaim, b. 1924, daughter Barbara, b. 1924, , son  Iciu (b. 1921) [It is likely that the chronicler is in error in enumerating the children's names in the Wolff family. It is inconceivable (among Ashkenazic Jews) that the son Iciu would bear the same name as his living father., ed.]

The father Iciu Wolff was a horse trader and his wife Sara had a modest shop with cigarettes, tobacco, and saccharin for sweetening tea. Her shop was in her own house. The Wolffs were a less well-off family. They lived on Kazimierz Street, formerly called Cemetery Street. In 1937 the Wollf family sold their property in Wielkie Oczy to Mr. Kazimierz Sawiński and left for Lwów, where they bought a house of their own. The two oldest sons got jobs in Lwów and started their own families. After the occupation of Lwów by the Germans in 1941, a ghetto for Jews was established and the Wollf family was also put there. The parents were already deceased at that time. The sons of the Wollfs together with their families were also in the ghetto. In 1943 the sons escaped from the ghetto and began, each for himself, to seek the possibilities of surviving the terrible war.

Chaim Wolff (married) when fleeing from the ghetto headed to Eastern Poland, to the town of Worochowo. He received shelter in the house of a Polish woman teacher. He obtained documents for the name of Stanisław Sobolewski. He lived to see the liberation of the area by the Russian army in 1944. He probably enlisted in the Polish Army, founded in Russia; the combat trail brought him to the western regions of Poland. After the end of the war he found his teacher in Worochow (nowadays USSR) and together with her came to Poland and married her. Chaim started a family and lived to see two daughters. In the 1950s he settled down in Stołczyn Szczeciński.

Kałman Wolff (married) lived in Lwów together with his family in the same apartment building as Mr. Tadeusz Gryniewicz (born in Wielkie Oczy). Tadeusz worked in Lwów as a car mechanic in a private workshop. After his escape from the ghetto Kałman didn't return home for a few more months, remaining in hiding. In April – May 1943 during the German-Russian war he came to Poland, to Wielkie Oczy, hiding at Mr. Gryniewicz's place whom he met in Lwów. Rozalia Borczyk, daughter of a farm worker, recognized him and showed the place where he was staying to the Germans. The Germans, after having caught Kałman, took him to a pasture and there they executed him. Kałman was buried at the place of the crime, near the property of Gryniewicz. After the liberation of Poland, in 1950–1953, Rozalia Borczyk was sentenced to prison by the Military Court for collaboration with the Germans, for turning in a Jew. She served her sentence.

Barbara Wolff, b. 1924, probably perished in the ghetto. She was single.

Iciu [sic] Wolff, b. 1921 (single), escaped from the ghetto in 1943. It's difficult to established where he was hiding. He showed up in the area of Wielkie Oczy, in the Hrycki hamlet, in May-June. He was hiding at Mr. Rozkułużny's place, later at Mr. Iwan Baran's. He spent the summer there. In the late fall he moved to Mr. Duszyński's place in Krakowiecka Street and to other people's places. At the beginning, the inhabitants of Wielkie Oczy didn't know that he was hiding. He spent the days in attics and barns, and the nights, in stables. People whom he befriended in Krakowiecka Street, as well as Kazimierz, gave him food. He was told to take the food at certain times. He tried not to put people in danger of being executed or sent to a concentration camp for hiding a Jew. In April 1944, when the Ukrainian guards deserted, Wolff Iciu together with some young people served as a night guard warning about the attack of UPA bands. He was an active guard, but he didn't have any weapons, because there wasn't much of it. On 21 July 1944, during an attack of a UPA band, Iciu hid in the field and stayed there until the morning. After the attack the inhabitants of Wielkie Oczy moved beyond the San river, waiting there for the time when it would be possible to return in peace and quiet. In September, when they returned to their homes, they didn't find Woff Iciu anymore. He left with his friend Abram Richter and until 1950 there was no trace of him.

In 1945 around May 8–12 both Jews came to Wielkie Oczy. Their purpose was probably to take the hidden jewelry. Next day, on the way to Radymno, they were murdered in Kobylnica Ruska by Bronisław Pałczak and his accomplice whose name was unknown. They were militiamen at the post in Wielkie Oczy. After the murder of the Jews, his accomplice, who came from the vicinity of Vilna and whose name was unknown, left and no trace of him was ever found. Bronisław Pałczak, although in hiding in 1946–47, was arrested and imprisoned. The military court sentenced him to 15 years in jail and disfranchisement for 10 years.

After having served 3/4 of the sentence he returned to his family home and shortly afterward he died. It was on March 19, 1972. He is buried in the cemetery in Wielkie Oczy.

Abram Richter, b. 1914

He was married and had three children. Until 1942 he lived in Wielkie Oczy in the Town Square near the school. Before 1939 he had a private milk bottling plant; the milk was brought from the manorial farm called Korczunek and from private milk cattle breeders. He processed milk for dairy products that were regarded as kosher. In particular, Jews bought milk from him.

In 1943 the Richter family, like other Jewish families, was put in the ghetto in Jaworów. His family perished in the ghetto. Abram himself escaped from the ghetto in spring 1943 and showed up in Wielkie Oczy. First he was hiding in Szczeble at Mr. Ryszard Czajkowski's house, the owner of a manorial farm. In the late fall he was hiding at Mr. Władysław Czop's house in Wielkie Oczy, near the church. At the beginning of April 1944 he moved to the third hiding place, where he stayed until the liberation of Wielkie Oczy by the Red Army. On 25 July 1944 he was at Mr. Marcin Noworol's, who went beyond the San River to hide from the UPA band. He lived in an estate about two kilometers from Wielkie Oczy. It is not known who was bringing food for Abram. After the liberation Abram together with his friend Iciu Wolff went beyond the San river. Around May 8–12 1945 they came together to Wielkie Oczy for a very short time. They probably wanted to take jewelry hidden by Abram. Next day, on the way to Radymno they were captured and shot in Kobylnica Ruska. The crime was committed by Bronisław Pałczak, son of Piotr, from Wielkie Oczy and his accomplice who was from the vicinity of Vilna; his family name was unknown, his given name was Stanisław. They were militiamen at the post in Wielkie Oczy. After a short time the accomplice of Pałczak left Wielkie Oczy and no trace of him was ever found. Pałczak was sentenced by the Military Court in Rzeszów to prison and disfranchisement. After having served 3/4 of the sentence he returned home and died shortly afterwards. It was on March 19, 1972. He was buried in the cemetery in Wielkie Oczy.

Abrum Bajdyk, b. 1912

He was married and had three children. He had a small bakery where he employed his family. He supplied yeast to shops in Wielkie Oczy. His family was moderately well-off. In the spring of 1942 they were taken to the Jaworów ghetto. In April 1943 he escaped from the ghetto and hid in the village of Wólka Żmijowska. He was hiding at Mr. Władysław Stopyra's house where he stayed until August of that year. In the same month the children of a neighbor recognized the Jew Abrum. This fact was reported to the German military police station in Wielkie Oczy. The Germans searched Mr. Stopyra's house, but didn't find the reported Jew there. He was hiding in the woods. After the search Mr. Stopyra was arrested and taken by Gestapo to Jaworów, where he was tortured. Yet he didn't admit to hiding a Jew. After a few weeks he was released and returned home. In September or October Abrum moved to Horyśnie to Mr. Antoni Kolas and to his neighbors Michał and Stefan Pankiewicz. He spent there the winter 1943–1944. In the early spring he moved to Wólka Żmijowska, where he was murdered by a UPA band in March or April 1944.

Iciu Wizenblat

A Jew born in 1913–15, educated as chemist, he came to Wielkie Oczy to the distillery as chemist in February 1940. The distillery worked on three shifts and produced a large quantity of alcohol. He lived at Mr. and Mrs. Wardyga's (Stanisław and Anna) house, in Krakowiecka Street. He lived there during the Russian and German occupation, until October–December of 1942. During his stay in Wielkie Oczy he got to know very well a certain young lady; her name was Dańczak Łucja and had high school education. During the German occupation Miss Dańczak left Iciu Wizenblat an identity card of a Pole, an inhabitant of Lipowce, Wielkie Oczy township, now USSR, for the name of Gustaw Urban.

Mr. Wizenblat didn't resemble a Jew. His facial features indicated a Catholic, and thus it was easy to find an identity card for him. In October–December of 1942 he leaves Wielkie Oczy clandestinely, already as Gustaw Urban, and goes to the vicinity of Jaworów, to the small town Gródek Jagiellonski, now in USSR. He meets there a German woman of Jewish origin and they marry in 1943. He had children: a son, and a daughter who died at the age of 10. The news from Iciu ceased to come during the period 1943–1945. In October 1945 he notifies Mr. and Mrs. Wardyga that he lives in Cieplice Zdrój and is director of a sanitarium. Mrs. Wardyga visits him there. In 1946–1947 he moves to Wrocław and gets a job at the University of Wrocław as a lecturer in chemistry, where Mrs. Wardyga visits him. It is not known whether he is still alive. After the liberation he expressed his gratitude to Mr. Urban Gustaw, and also to Miss Łucja Dańczak and Anna Wardyga for their friendship and for saving his life.

Translator's note:

UPA — Ukrainian Insurgent Army (Ukrayins’ka Povstans’ka Armiya), the military branch of the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists.

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