Righteous Gentiles
Killed for Helping Jews

(Gorlice Area)


Virgin of VladmirAlthough Nazi concentration camps and slave labor camps were located throughout Europe during World War II, all of the camps devoted exclusively to extermination--Chelmno, Belzec, Sobibor, and Treblinka--were located in Poland.  The Nazi's two multi-functional camps for forced labor and extermination--Auschwitz-Birkenau and Majdanek--were also located in Poland.  Approximately three million Polish Jews died during the Holocaust.  Approximately three million Poles who were not Jews also died, some of them killed for helping Jews.  Poland was the only country in which the penalty for helping a Jew during the German occupation was death.  Nonetheless, many brave Poles tried to rescue Jews from the Nazi death machine.   Some were members of the Council for Aid to Jews (code name:  "Zegota"), a Polish organization formed in 1942 specifically to rescue Jews.  Some were non-affiliated ordinary citizens who took extraordinary risks to help their beleaguered Jewish neighbors.  More than 5,500 Poles have been awarded "Righteous Among the Nations" status by Yad Vashem, a larger number than in any other country.  We will never know who all of the Righteous Gentiles were.  Below, however, are some who are known to have given their lives for their attempts to help Gorlice area Jews.  (Władisław Boczoń, author of the book in which the names of the following 13  individuals and the details about them appear, was himself a Zegota member.  Thus, the information he provides can be presumed to be accurate.)

1. Stanisław Radzik from Łużna – arrested by the Gestapo in the year 1943 for sheltering Jews and shot in the Jewish cemetery in Gorlice. 

     (Stanisław Radzik z Łużnej – aresztowany przez gestapo w 1943 r. za przetrzymywanie Żydów i rozstrzelany na kirkucie w Gorlicach.) 

2. Jόzef Pietrzykowski – a physician from Bobowa (32 years old) shot in Radziestow near Nowy Sącz for sheltering a Jewish child. 
    (Jόzef Pietrzykowski – lekarz z Bobowej (32 lata) rozstrzelany w Rdziostowie k. Nowego Sącza za przetrzymywanie dziecka żydowskiego.) 

3. Andrzej Marszalek – Głęboka, member of the AL [the Communist Armia Ludowa, or People’s Army] – shot in the year 1944 for hiding Jews. 

    (Andrzej Marszalek – Głęboka, członek AL – rozstrzelany w 1944 r. za przechowywanie Żydów.) 

4. Peter Oleśkiewicz from Pagorzyna – arrested and sent to Auschwitz, where he perished in the year 1943 – for sheltering Jews.

    (Piotr Oleśkiewicz z Pagorzyny – aresztowany i wywieziony do Oświęcimia, gdzie zginął w 1943 r. – za przetrzymywanie Żydów.)

5. Jan Benisz from Gorlice – arrested and shot in the year 1943 for organizing assistance to Jews in the Krakow Council for Aid to Jews. 

    (Jan Benisz z Gorlic – aresztowany i rozstrzelany w 1943 r. za organizowanie pomocy Żydom w krakowskiej Radzie Pomocy Żydom.) 

6. Stefania Krzysztofiak from Siepietnica – shot in Biecz for hiding Jews. 

    (Stefania Krzysztofiak z Siepietnicy – rozstrzelana w Bieczu za ukrywanie Żydόw.) 

7. Joseph Pruchniewicz from Biecz – shot in the year 1944 for hiding the Jewish Plummer family. 

    (Józef Pruchniewicz z Biecza – rozstrezelany w 1944 r. za ukrywanie żydowskiej rodziny Plummerow.) 

8. Peter Dragan, a farmer from Rozdziel – shot by the military police for hiding Jews. 

    (Piotr Dragan rolnik z Rozdziela – rozstrzelany przez żandarmerię za ukrywanie Żydόw.) 

9. Stanisław Goleń from Biecz – perished in a camp for giving assistance to Jews. 

    (Stanislaw Goleń z Biecza – zginął w obozie za udzielanie pomocy Żydom.) 

10. Franciszek Bieleniak from Gleboka – shot in autumn of the year 1943 for hiding Jews. 

    (Franciszek Bieleniak z Glebokiej – rozstrzelany w jesiani 1943 roku za ukrywanie Żydów.) 

11. Julia Brońska from Szymbark – shot in the year 1943 for hiding Jews.

    (Julia Brońska z Szymbarku
rozstrzelana w 1943 roku za ukrywanie Żydów.)

Tadeush Czocharaz from Biecz – shot in the year 1943 for helping to hide Jews. 

    (Tadeusz Czocharaz z Beicza – rozstrzelany w 1943 roku za ukrywanie pomocy Żydόw.) 

13. Adam Czajka from Lipinek – shot in the Lipa Mine for sheltering the merchant Pinkas. 

    (Adam Czajka z Lipinek – rozstrzelany na kopalni Lipa za przechowywanie kupca Pinkasa.)

Translated by Marjorie Rosenfeld and Eva Bednarska
from p. 158, Żydzi Gorliccy (The Jews of Gorlice),

by Władisław Boczoń, Gorlice, 1998.

NOTE:  The former Web Site http://www.holocaustforgotten.com/index.htm, which memorialized non-Jewish victims of the Holocaust, notes additionally that Stanislaw Radzik, whose name appears first on the list above, was a 40-year-old farmer when he was shot on September 30, 1943, for sheltering four Jews and that on January 26, 1944, as a result of a subsequent investigation, his wife, Maria, was murdered. 

The same Web site also provided the name of Anastzja Tylawska, from Rozdziele, near Gorlice, and notes that she was shot in 1943 for sheltering Leib Jaskow from Mecina. 

~May their names be blessed.  May they be as a light onto the world.~