Bronisław Dec, Stanisław Dec, Tadeusz Dec, Władysław Dec, Emilia Hałyś, Wincenty Lewandowski and Emilia Lewandowska, Jakub Kuszek and Zofia Kuszek, Justyna Kubicka, Henryk Gajda, Władysław Jasiński, Sylwester Nycz, Stanisław Pelc, Grzegorz Wojturski
Józef and Maria Dec were living in a forester's lodge in Hadle Szklarskie. They had four sons: Władysław, Stanisław, Bronisław, and Tadeusz. Władysław was living with his own family in Pantalowice. His wife’s name was Anna. They were raising three children.
During the occupation, the Dec family helped Jews both in Hadle and in Pantalowice. Władysław lent a Jewish woman a pair of shoes so that she could get to his uncle’s home in Biadoliny. His surname was Bogusz and he was Maria Dec’s brother. Thanks to his efforts, the Jewish woman emigrated to America. Apart from that, Władysław Dec and Anna Dec took a Jewish boy under their roof. The boy helped them in everyday duties.
Three of the Dec brothers had prepared a bunker in the forest in Hadle Szklarskie, in which seven Jews were hiding: Juda, Jankiel, Chana, Józef, Brand, Berek and Małka Szinfeld. The brothers also secretly provided them with food. Their father – Józef Dec – did not know anything about their activities. Władysław was helping his brothers. Other residents of Hadle, Pantalowice and Grzegorzówka, who were also hiding some Jews for short periods of time, got involved as well. The Jews were hiding in the bunker from the summer until November 1942.
In November, a hunt was organised in the forest. One of the participants noticed the bunker and reported it to the Germans. The Jewish men managed to flee, but two Jewish women remained. When German officers led by Anton Hachmann reached the place, they found a well-organized hideaway with food. They caught both Jewish women and made them tell the names of the ones who had been helping them. One of them did not want to speak and was shot on the spot. The second one, Małka Szinfeld, responded differently. “One Jewish woman reported them because the German officers were abusing her, let’s say it that way. She did not endure this torture. The officers promised to let her go if she told them the names.” [RFWA, the narrative of Anna Kucza].
Małka and the German officers came to Pantalowice, to the Dec family’s house. Władysław and Anna were not home at that time because they had gone to Kańczuga. The Jewish boy stayed at home with three of their children. As soon as he noticed the German officers, he ran away. In Władysław and Anna’s house there were family photos hanging on the walls. The officers indicated them and asked the Jewish woman if the person from the photo was helping Jews. The Jewish woman indicated the four Dec brothers.
When Władysław came back home together with his neighbour, the German officers caught him immediately. Anna was still in Kańczuga. Officers spread a cloth on the kitchen floor and placed all the valuable objects there. Władysław told him that they did not have anything else valuable. Then, one of the officers hit him. “I remember this situation although I was only 5 years old, not even 5 years old. When our father was leaving, he said: Stay here, stay here. Mummy will come soon.” [RFWA, the narrative of Irena Filip].
Later on, officers took Władysław, who did not have his shoes on, out of the house and led him to the village. On their way, the Germans took other persons suspected of helping Jews: Wincenty Lewandowski and Emilia Lewandowska, Emilia Hałyś, Jakub Kuszek and Zofia Kuszek as well as their daughter Justyna Kubicka. They were also providing Jews with food and sometimes they were giving shelter to Jews hiding in the forest near Hadle Szklarskie. All of them were murdered in the yard on the Lewandowski family’s farm. “On the same day in December, about midday, they took my father. At 4 pm they reached the forest. Our three uncles – my father’s brothers – were at home. Officers took them out one after another and murdered them.” [RFWA, the narrative of Irena Filip]. A plaque commemorating the death of Stanisław, Bronisław and Tadeusz was later unveiled in Hadle Szklarskie. Józef and Maria Dec managed to survive because they did not know anything about helping Jews.
A nearby village – Grzegorzówka (commune Hyżne) – also fell victim to German officers because its residents were hiding Jews and were supplying the Dec brothers’ bunker with food. After murdering the Dec family, German officers from Łańcut came to Henryk Gajda. There they arrested Grzegorz Wojturski and Sylwester Nycz. All three Poles were brutally beaten, taken near the forest, and executed. Władysław Jasiński was killed the same day in his yard. The same happened to Stanisław Pelc, who was also engaged in helping Jews.
1. IPN BU 392/2033 (based on GKBZH WB IV 180, 203, 204).
2. IPN BU 392/907.
3. RFWA, audio record, ref. no. 405_1882, dated 11.10.2013.
4. RFWA, audio record, ref. no. 140901_0339, the narrative of Irena Filip [daughter of Władysław, eyewitness], dated 1.09.2014.
5. RFWA, audio record, ref. no. 405_0680, the narrative of Anna Kucza [granddaughter of Władysław], dated 16.09.2013.
6. RFWA, audio record, ref. no. 811_0660 D and 811_0661 D, the narrative of Eugeniusz Dusza [acquaintance], dated 27.01.2014.
7. RFWA, audio record, ref. no. 811_1436 D, the narrative of Eugeniusz Dusza, dated 26.03.2014.
8. RFWA, short text about the Dec family in „Rzeczpospolita”, 17.09.2009.
9. RFWA, a letter from Zenon Sobolewski, dated 28.01.2014. (Article Życie za życie, „Rzeczpospolita”, 17.09.2008.).
10. RFWA, a letter from Jan Trzyna, Wólka Hyżeńska.
11. RFWA, a letter from Stefan Grabowski, dated 18.03.2014.
12. Bielawski W., 1981, Zbrodnie na Polakach dokonane przez hitlerowców za pomoc udzielaną Żydom, Warszawa, p. 21, 39, 40, 42.
13. Fajkowski J., Religa J., 1981, Zbrodnie hitlerowskie na wsi polskiej 1939–1945, Warszawa, p. 282.
14. Hera J., 2014, Polacy ratujący Żydów. Słownik, Warszawa, p. 182, 279, 283, 288.
15. Rejestr faktów represji na obywatelach polskich za pomoc ludności żydowskiej w okresie II wojny światowej, The Institute of National Remembrance, Namysło A., Berendt G. (Ed.), 2014, Warszawa, p. 412-413.
16. Poray A. (Ed.), 2007, Those Who Risked Their Lives, Chicago, p. 23-24, 34-35.
17. Polacy ratujący Żydów na Rzeszowszczyźnie w latach 1939–1945, Rączy E., Witowicz I. (Ed.), 2011, Rzeszów, p. 210, 226-227.
18. Walczak R. (Ed.), 1997, Those Who Helped. Polish Rescuers of Jews During the Holocaust, part 3, Warszawa, p. 62-63, 84, 87, 88-89.
19. Wroński S., Zwolak M., 1971, Polacy-Żydzi 1939–1945, Warszawa, p. 360, 409.
20. Zajączkowski W., 1988, Martyrs of Charity, Washington D.C., p. 154; 198.
21. www.straty.pl, Personal losses and victims of repression under the German occupation programme (20.05.2015).
Hera J., 2014, Polacy ratujący Żydów. Słownik, Warszawa, p. 182 names three murdered brothers: Bronisław, Stanisław and Tadeusz. Zajączkowski W., 1988, Martyrs of Charity, Washington D.C., p. 154 gives an incorrect surname “Deć”.There are also some discrepancies concerning the age of the three brothers indicating that they were teenagers.
Fajkowski J., Religa J., 1981, Zbrodnie hitlerowskie na wsi polskiej 1939–1945, Warszawa, p. 282 gives the name “Emilia Hałyś”, but probably the authors of the publication mean Emilia Lewandowska.
According to one of the documents from the file IPN BU 392/907, Grzegorz Wojturski was killed in October 1943.
In the documents from the file IPN BU 392/2033 Jakub and Zofia Kuszek’s daughter appears as Zofia Kubicka and as Justyna Kubicka. Poray A. (Ed.), 2007, Those Who Risked Their Lives, Chicago, p. 34; Walczak R. (Ed.), 1997, Those Who Helped. Polish Rescuers of Jews During the Holocaust, part 3, Warszawa, p. 84, 87; Wroński S., Zwolak M., 1971, Polacy-Żydzi 1939–1945, Warszawa, p. 409 and short text in “Rzeczpospolita” dated 17.09.2008 give the name “Zofia Kubicka”.
Bielawski W., 1981, Zbrodnie na Polakach dokonane przez hitlerowców za pomoc udzielaną Żydom, Warszawa, p. 39; Zajączkowski W., 1988, Martyrs of Charity, Washington D.C., p. 198 state that Zofia Kubicka and Justyna Kubicka are two different persons.
The literature about people executed in Pantalowice, i.e. the Dec, Kuszek, Kubicki, Hałyś and Lewandowski families, gives the following date of their death: 04.12.1942.
Wroński S., Zwolak M., 1971, Polacy-Żydzi 1939–1945, Warszawa, p. 409 mentions that Aleksander Dusza was also murdered in Hadle Szklarskie on the 4th of December 1942.