He just looked and walked away – the Król family, Zastawie, Bilcza
A day in 1944. The partisans knocked on the door at Stanisława Gawlik’s grandparents’ house in Zastawie Street – they brought an unknown man, a Jew and asked to hide him. German soldiers were quartered in the other room …
The Jew had a new ID made for him –from then on his name was Zdzisław Król. My grandparents never learnt his real name. The grandfather would say that he was his son from the first marriage. It was a cover-up because the grandpa had never had another wife – says Stanisława Gawlik.
The conspiracy organizations often joined the campaign to help Jews as the partisans knew which families they could trust. They were looking for the so-called “dens” – safe hiding places for Jews and other people who had to find a shelter and escape the occupiers. The Home Army and the Peasants’ Battalions were in the lead. The conspiracy organizations’ help-Jews campaign scale is still unknown.
“Never before had I seen people with so many lice … everything he was wearing seemed to move with so many insect in the clothes. He was a living skeleton with lice on. He was in a terrible state “- Stanisława Gawlik recalls her mother’s words. At that time the mother was 14 years old.
The Polish family took care of the man the way you care for your relatives. First they had to give him a wash and shave. And then new clothes. He lived with the family, in the same room – adds Stanisława Gawlik. The presence of German troops in the other room was an additional difficulty.
“Zdzisław Król” suffered from nightmares. He would shout: “I will kill those Germans!” Much to other people’s fear who had to watch him over, calm him down so the secret is not revealed. – Stanisława Gawlik tells us the war-time story.
An informer reported that a Jew was hidden with the family that lived in Zastawie Street. The Germans came to the place. Then one of the soldiers who were staying with the family, probably an Austrian came out. “The German soldier saved their lives. He came out and said that he lived there. He assured that there were neither Jews nor partisans. Did he suspect anything … I cannot tell “- says Stanisława Gawlik.
Contacts with “Zdzisław Król” were lost once the front line moved on. However the family remembers about the war time events.