Łódź, 6 June 2000

The Central Archives of Modern Records
Committee for the Commemoration
of Poles Who Saved Jews

I would like to declare that during German occupation, from 1939 to August 1944, I lived with my parents in Pobołowice, commune of Żmudź, district of Chełm Lubelski. In 1942 I joined the Home Army (nom de guerre “Orzeł” [Eagle]). My father (holding the rank of Lieutenant) was a member of the underground movement from the beginning of October 1939 – in the ZWZ [Union for Armed Struggle] and later in the Home Army – performing the function of quartermaster (nom de guerre “Karp” [Carp]) in the 2nd Chełm District of the Home Army.

At the beginning of 1942 I started working in the State Forests in Pobołowice as a trainee. During my training in the Haliczany forest, at the end of 1942, I encountered a disguised bunker – a shelter of 42 Jews. They did not fear me, for some of them knew me and my father, because father had been providing them with food earlier. From 1942 to 20 July 1944, the Jews were coming to our house in the evening – usually in a group of several people – to get food. Our buildings were located near the forest where the Jews were hiding. As for their surnames, I only remember the following: Wolf, Cukier, and Sztainwucel. Forester Władysław Charliński, who was the immediate supervisor of that part of the forest, was also helping these Jews. In addition to the food supplies I also delivered the most needed medicines to which I had access and hygiene products. The Jews were armed. I don’t know if all 42 members of this group survived because some of them left the bunker earlier, before 1944. One thing is certain: my family left the house on 21 July 1944 and went into the forest, where the Jews were hiding. Asked by the Jews, three of my colleagues (partisans from the Home Army) and I escorted the whole group of 30 Jews to the Soviet army’s side. The journey from one forest to another was very difficult and risky, for we had to make our way through a 150-meter long, open section between the forests. The Germans noticed us while we were walking, and started shooting at us with machine guns. We all managed to crawl up to the Soviet army. The Soviet army took the entire group of Jews in and provided them with care. We, that is, Adam Łukaszczuk, Wicek Śliwiński and Franek Śliwiński, made our way to our Home Army unit.

One might ask why I’ve kept silent about these events for so long. There were many reasons. Right after the Soviet army entered, my father was arrested by the Security Office and the NKVD, in October 1944, and deported to Siberia. In 1947 I started studying in Łódź, and in 1950 I was arrested by the Security Office and sentenced by the District Marshal Court in Warsaw for nine years as a political prisoner. I served five years and was then released on parole.

In the following years I was persecuted by the Security Service. In 1972 my entire family and I departed for work to Algeria and Morocco. I returned in 1972.

When I was putting my deceased father’s documents in order, I found his manuscript (a journal), where he described the operation of aiding the Jews during the occupation. I also found the original declaration of forester Władysław Charliński, concerning my aid to the Jews.

By writing this declaration, I wish to show that we, Poles – especially the brave Home Army soldiers – risked our lives and the lives of our families, selflessly rescuing and aiding the Jews who were in need during the German occupation.

1. Declaration (authenticated copy)
2. Father’s biography (fragment) (authenticated copy)

Zbysław Raczkiewicz, son of Wojciech
born on 4 September 1925 in Pobołowice, district of Chełm Lubelski. [...]