Grodzka- Guzkowska Magdalena

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Story of Rescue - Grodzka- Guzkowska Magdalena

“It is April 1943 – she wrote in the biographical work entitled ‘Lucky One’. – The ghetto is burning.  The uprising…we are lying on a slanted roof. A few of us… We see the house across from us. On one of the iron balconies…an older man appears, a younger woman and two children.  The older man puts his hand on each of their heads, then grabs one of the children and throws it over the railing.  We lie there and stare.  Helplessness.  The second child flies down.  The rest of the family jumps on their own.”

From the first days of the Uprising she operated underground.  She was a messenger, she transferred conspiratorial press releases and primitive secret printing presses, she led people to contacts who would take them across the border, she ran secret radio taps.  And she saved Jews. She was one of the people who “led out into the sun” grey faced Jewish children who had been pulled from dark corners.  She took them to new hiding places.  She brought them food.  And she taught them how not to show the Germans and the civilians who worked with the German’s that they were Jews.  

“I taught Jews the rosary and the sign of the cross.  With the sign of the cross we always had trouble.  Because Jews, both the old and the young, always did it with service, slowly, closing their eyes… God! Who’s ever seen such a thing? Every German would recognize right away that they were Jews. So I explained: ‘Wave your hand around quickly, without touching. One-two-three.’”

After the fall of the Warsaw Uprising she went through six camps.  She left for England, and later went to Canada.  In 1974 she returned to Poland.  She began taking care of autistic children at a treatment center in Warsaw.

“I know that life is worth living if you help at least one family, one child – she wrote. – I have had that joy, that luck.” 

She has not been awarded the Medal of the Righteous Among the Nations by the Yad Vashem Institute.

Other Stories of Rescue in the Area


  • Michałkiewicz Katarzyna, Interview with Magdalena Grodzka-Gużkowska , 1.01.2008