Poles Saving Jews


Episode 3


The Jedynaks family from Mostki near Suchedniów

“Irka was a very good person. She would help all those who needed help”– says a the war-time neighbour of Irena Jedynak. Irena was involved in helping the 3 Jews who had escaped from the Hasag ammunition plant in Skarżysko-Kamienna …

The Jedynak family – a couple and the five children lived in Mostki near Suchedniów during the war. Two Jedinaks’ daughters: Irena and Helena were involved in patriotic movements and conspiracy. Irena belonged to the Home Army, she was a liaison officer. Helena, worked at Skarżysko Hasag and provided her sister about with the inside-factory information.

At the end of the war the factory was to be liquidated. A group of Polish workers promised the three Jews who also worked in the factory that that they would help them escape. However, the Poles did not come to the meeting place. “The Jews sought help and met Helena Jedynak. She took up the challenge and helped the Jews to escape”-says Ewa Kołomańska, a historian. Helena led them through the forests to the village she lived in – Mostki and presented the family with accomplished facts. The escapees were supposed to stay a few days at most. Alexander Szmul Moksel, Henryk Szerman and Feliks Zygereich were to stay in the village for a few days.

Helena and Irena’s brother Wacław Jedynak prepared a hiding place in the barn. Yet there was a problem – two Germans used the Jedynak’s house for their lodgings.

The Jews were hiding in the barn. It was no longer possible to bring them food, because the Germans used the barn to keep weapons in. The place was guarded too. They were able to survive for a few days …

It took some time before the Jedynak family arranged another hiding place for Feliks. He moved to stay with a family in Łączna. Two other Jews remained in Mostki until the end of the war.

Olek Moksel was Irena Jedynak’s fake fiancé – They were supposed to wear wedding rings”-recalls Beata Lis, Irena’s niece. Olek acted as if he was a host of his own farm. “The Germans were all over Mostki, the front line was approaching. Yet he was not hiding. They got engaged, they invited people for the ceremony. He stayed there till the last moment. He would slaughter cows and then sell the meat.” – tells the Jedynaks’ war-time neighbour.

And although the occupants suspected that Olek was a Jew, Irena always denied it. Some neighbours believed Olek to be a member of the Polish resistance movement. No one knew that there were more people in the hiding with the Jedynak family.

They all survived the war, however stopped maintaining contact and relations with the Jedynaks.
In 1989 the Yad Vashem Institute awarded the Jedynaks family with “Righteous Among the Nations” medal.

Autor Marlena Płaska
In this episode
Stories about Poles

Helena Jedynak-Sztando (daughter)

Irena Jedynak (daughter)

Maria Jedynak (mother)

Mieczysław Jedynak (son)

Wacław Jedynak (son)

The people in the hiding

Alexander Szmul Moksel

Henryk Szerman

Feliks Zygereich

The story told by

Beata Lis (Mieczysław's daughter)

Ewa Kołomańska (historian)

Tomasz Domański (historian)