Mieczysław Rudnicki, born in 1930
My loved ones were given up for dead
I was born in Warsaw into a family of Jewish origin. The outbreak of the war found me in Żuków (Lublin province), where I was on vacation with my grandmother, Sara Mantel, and my younger siblings, seven-year-old brother, Srul, and three-year-old little sister, Etel. My father, Szymon Rudnicki, a physician, was mobilized at that time, but Mama, Anna Rudnicka, née Mantel, was in Warsaw (she worked at the Wedel chocolate factory). Father came to get me in October 1939, and, together, we fled east as far as Kuban.
My younger siblings remained with Grandma in Żuków, where in January 1940, Mama came to join them. They were all in hiding in Żuków with a peasant who, in 1943, denounced them. As a result, an entire group of Jews was deported to Treblinka and murdered there (in 1952, I obtained this information from a Żuków peasant, Mr. Mazur, who was an eyewitness to these events).
Until the outbreak of the Russian-German War, my father and I lived on the sovkhoz (collective farm) called Krasnoarmeets, where father was a caretaker and I was studying in school. After the outbreak of the war, we moved to Pavlovsk near Rostov.
As a result of a denunciation in September 1941, my father was shot to death by the Gestapo, and I was taken, together with other Jewish families, to several transit camps (initially in Stalino [now Donets’k, Ukraine] and in the end, in Białystok). I managed to escape from there, in October 1942, and reached Warsaw I wanted to find my mother).
On the way, I became ill with typhus and was admitted to the hospital in Mokotów, in Warsaw, where I lay for six months. From the hospital, I was transferred to an emergency shelter, and from there, in March 1943, to “Our Home,” which was then under the direction of Maryna Falska. Although I am circumcised, I was able to hide my origins and survive the Holocaust.
“Our Home,” – a children’s home.
I stayed in “Our Home” until I completed high school in 1952. Later, I worked, among other places, in the Polish Red Cross and as an electrotechnician in the Automobile Factory in Żerań.
After I graduated, I went to Żuków and sought out people (Mr. Mazur) who knew my family and even had documents, as well as addresses, of my relatives. This allowed me to establish contact with aunts living in Argentina. In 1957, I declared my desire to leave Poland, and that same year I departed. I stopped in Italy, and I live there to this day as a Polish citizen.
Rome June 5, 1992