Machczynska-Swiatek Apolonia

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Story of Rescue - Machczynska-Swiatek Apolonia

In October 1942, a number of Jews managed to escape from the ghetto in Kock before it was liquidated. Some of them hid in the nearby forest, others stayed with their Polish friends, but most were captured and shot.

Eleven fugitives reached Apolonia’s house. She immediately organized help for them and managed to move them to Warsaw. Among the fugitives was Rywka Goldfinger, who survived the Holocaust and left for Israel after the war. Apolonia arranged ‘Aryan’ documents for Rywka and gave her the address of her in-laws in Warsaw. She told her to go to the railway station in a wagon. When the girl asked the Polish neighbour to take her to the station, he told her to go away. Apolonia ran to a German policeman. “‘Will you take her?’ asked the policeman reaching for his revolver. The neighbour harnessed the horse and took Rywka to the station.”

Apolonia helped some other fugitives, whom she hid in the basement of her house. In January, 1942, Apolonia Machczyńska-Świątek also helped Jews hiding in the nearby forest. Among them was a woman with children. A Pole collaborating with the Nazis turned her in. The German policeman, the same one who had helped Rywka, warned Apolonia that the hideaway had been discovered. She ran to warn those hiding, but none of them managed to escape. She found shelter in the Plebanki village, where her father lived. The Germans found her there and shot her.

Other Stories of Rescue in the Area


  • Gutman Israel red. nacz., Księga Sprawiedliwych wśród Narodów Świata, Ratujący Żydów podczas Holocaustu