Polish couple murdered for saving Jews commemorated

On Sunday, a plaque dedicated to Władysława and Stanisław Krysiewicz, a couple murdered by the Nazi Germans for helping Jewish people during the Holocaust, was unveiled in Waniewo near Białystok, northeast Poland, within the framework of the campaign “Called out by Name” led by the Pilecki Institute.

The ceremony was attended by state officials, as well as by the two youngest children of Stanisław and Władysława Krysiewicz: Teresa Grochowska and Henryk Wołoszynowicz, and the grandchildren and great-grandchildren of the heroic couple.

Władysława and Stanisław gave shelter to eight Jews, escapees from the ghetto in Sokoły, in November 1942. The secret got out after about ten months and, on September 8 1943, the farmhouse of Ms and Mr Krysiewicz was surrounded by German military policemen. Stanisław was killed after brutal interrogation, as he did not disclose any information regarding the presence of the Jews. However, after the Germans set the buildings on fire, they tried to escape and were shot on the spot.

Władysława was killed three days later in the Tykocin prison. Fortunately, all her five children survived the war.

Although the couple were recognised by the Yad Vashem Institute in 1993, when they posthumously received the title of the Righteous Among the Nations, little was known about their history in Poland. The commemorations in Waniewo may have changed this.

The project “Called out by Name” concerns people with Polish nationality murdered for helping Jews over the period of the Nazi German occupation of Poland. It was initiated by the Pilecki Institute. Its goal is to present stories of such heroes to a wide public.

The Pilecki Institute is an organisation that serves to commemorate, document and study Polish history of the twentieth century.