Franciszek Czerwonka, Julia Czerwonka, Stanisław Czerwonka
The dramatic events in Pawłosiów village are associated with a love story which began in Pyszówka – about 50 kilometres from Pawłosiów. One of Julia Czerwonka’s nephews fell in love with a girl of Jewish origin. Later on she was baptized and the couple got married in the Krakowiec parish near Lviv. Franciszek Czerwonka (56), his wife Julia (55) and their eldest son Stanisław (18) were murdered some years later on the 7th of July 1943 because they were brave enough to take the three children that were born out of this marriage. The youngest child – Łucja – was about 3 years old.
The two boys and girl aroused the neighbours’ suspicions. Franciszek and Julia’s granddaughter – Halina Jedlińska – indicates that one of these neighbours, who worked in the community council, reported her grandparents to the Germans. “He did not do it at once, but some months later after an argument with my grandparents.” [RFWA, Czerwonka, audio record, ref. no. 405_0502, the narrative of Halina Jedlińska, dated 10.09.2013].
The Gestapo did not spare Stanisław. He was severely beaten, his nails were extracted and his nose was broken. His parents were forced to watch his suffering. Afterwards all three family members were shot – first they shot the son, then the mother and at the end the father. Their bodies were buried on the pasture behind a school and on the 5th of September 1944 they were exhumed and placed in a collective grave in Pawłosiów.
The children were not found that July nor later. Thanks to this all of them survived the war. According to some sources, on the day of the murder many army troops, gendarmerie, and Gestapo officers came to Pawłosiów. Among the Germans there were: Franz Schmidt, Kiernbach, Doppke, and Dietschon. They gathered some men in the school and interrogated them about partisan activities. They were given special sheets of paper marked with a letter: those with the letter A could go home, those with B – were to be taken to a camp, and those with C – received a death sentence. Eventually, 3 persons were transported to the camp in Pustków. It is said, that it was at this moment when the Czerwonka family’s neighbour reported that they had been hiding Jews. They were murdered in the field behind the school, where today there is a monument commemorating these events.
1. IPN BU 392/1841.
2. IPN BU 392/2033.
3. RFWA, audio record, ref. no. 405_0502, the narrative of Halina Jedlińska, dated 10.09.2013.
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9. Poray A., 2007, Those Who Risked Their Lives, Illinois, p. 23.
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12. Zajączkowski W., 1988, Martyrs of Charity, Washington D.C., p. 200.
13. http://www.jaroslaw.pl/aktualnosci-wydarzenia/id2757,Rzeczpospolita-w-kleszczach-.html?print=1 (05.11.2014).
14. http://spuscizna.org/spuscizna/righteous-poles.html (05.11.2014).
Zajączkowski W., 1988, Martyrs of Charity, Washington D.C., p. 200 gives the incorrect name “Pawłoszów” and states that Julia Czerwonka was 56 years old.
Bielawski W., 1981, Zbrodnie na Polakach dokonane przez hitlerowców za pomoc udzielaną Żydom, Warszawa gives the incorrect date of death of the Czerwonka family – 07.12.1943.