Just like a family – the Adamczyks family, Denków, Ostrowiec Świętokrzyski
The 6-person Adamczyks family was displaced from Wielkopolska in 1940. They settled in Denkowo near Ostrowiec. They were assigned a small room at one of the Polish families’ houses. Soon, they blended into the local community. The Damaczyks and the Jewish Frymel family became friends. The head of the family, Icek Frymel offered Adamczyk a place in his home which was much larger. Jadwiga – Marianna and Jan Adamczyks’ teenage daughter and Lucjanna remembers that the Frymels gave them a large, beautifully furnished living room.
Icek Frymel and his wife Sara had three children: Mojżesz born in 1921, 15-year-old Blimka and Chaim born in 1924. The Adamczyks’ children – Helena, Jadwiga, Lucjanna and the youngest Jan were of a similar age.
Both families lived under one roof in harmony, their friendship even deepened. Women baked bread together, they also invited each other for Catholic and Jewish holidays. Even Christmas pictures have been preserved until today. In one of them there are the sisters – Helena and Jadwiga together with the Mojżesz and Chaim brothers at the Christmas tree.
They were quite happy, despite the war. That period ended abruptly on 12 October 1942… something you cannot express in words… something terrible. All the Jews were driveen into the market square. They also came to get us. The Frymel family had had some bundles packed. They left together with Blimka… – recalls Lucjanna Kuźnicka who was 15 years old then. The Adamczyks did not know what had happened to the Jews from Denkowo. Only later had they discover that the Jews were killed in Treblinka…
Before leaving, Mr. Frymel approached Mommy, knelt before her and begged: Sister, save my boys – Lucjann Kuźnicka is moved when remebering the past events.
Chaim and Mojżesz [Moses] were then in the labour camp in Bodzechów. It was the period of famine and great poverty. The eldest sister – Helena gave her siblings food ratios – a piece of bread at 10.00 and 16.00. The Adamczyks’ daughters Helena, Lucjanna and Jadwiga tried to find some food which they secretly smuggled for the Frymel brothers.
At the beginning of 1943, when the Bodzechów camp was liquidated, the Frymels managed to escape. Starving and frozen they reached Denkowo at night. They knocked on the window, seeking help and a place to hide.
My father worked in Ćmielów, he was away foe the whole week and he was afraid to take this responsibility, to expose four children and a wife to a threat. Each of us in turns went and begged: daddy, please agree. Finally he said yes. If you want to be executed, do as you wish. And mum also agreed – remembers Lucjanna Kuźnicka.
A hiding place was dug in the room under the floor. The Frymels stayed there at night and whenever there was any danger. The entrance was concealed with beds. During the day the brothers left the hiding place and stayed with the family in the room. At the end of the war the Germans occupied the living room – these Germans almost discovered their presence – that was a close shave.
The Adamczyks sisters were girl scouts, they were also involved in underground movement, Their mother was never informed.
Fortunately, both those in the hiding and those who offered help survived until the end of the war.
Chaim Frymel soon went to Israel, Mojżesz Frymel left for Canada. The families maintained contacts for many years. Chaim was a great man. One day he admitted that he sent us the first dollar he had earned – remembers Jadwiga Szczeszak. He always wrote “dear mummy” to our mother. Just like a family – adds Lucjanna Kuźnicka.
Parents: Jan and Marianna Adamczyks were awarded the “Righteous Among the Nations” medal in 1975. In 1997, the siblings Helena, Jadwiga, Lucjanna and Jan also received the award.