...And I prize Him too!

No,no.... I'm not Jasiowa, I am Janowa.
Well, my good sir, I'm afraid young people don't know much about anything these days.

Yes, Jasiowa's cottage was close to ours, but they had gone for a long time now.
They left the village after the war in quite a hurry.

Yes, of course, I remember all that terrible stuff. Why wouldn't I?
I will never forget it, ever... right up to the end of my life.

The Jews? Yes. Some of them were hanging around, here and there.
They fled into the countryside and forest near here.
Mostly after the Germans liquidated the ghettos.

Oh, the little girl? That was Marysia from Matejczak's family.
She was three years old and an intelligent little girl.
She grew up to be a schoolmistress!

No. I did not hide anyone.
I think it was in 1943 that someone was sneaking around our barn, but only at nighttime. Several times, I even put some eggs and bread there...

But when this Jankiel came and asked if he could hide there with his family, I chased him away.
He was rich before the war, and he owned the watermill.
I chased him away because my husband did not like the Jews.
And Jankiel even more so because he cheated him over a sack of flour.
Not Jankiel himself, one of the people he had working for him.
But when my husband complained, Jankiel just laughed at him.

Anyway, when the Germans got a denunciation and jumped with our policemen Matejczak's farm, they found three Jews hiding there.
They shot them all and the Matejczak family as well.
Only Marysia survived because the Matejczaks went to the field that day and left her at my place. Her aunt came back later and snuck her away.

Kielonki's family was also punished. But only their farm was burned down.
They kept a Jewess there. Probably for several months.
But in those scarce times, things were so hard that they asked her to leave.
She was so embittered when the gendarmes caught her and took her to the police station that she told them about Kielonkis.
Look, what a bitch! They kept her safe as long as they could!
She was going to die anyway. Surely, she could have kept her mouth shut?!

So.... where was I? Sometimes I wander.
Anyway, I chased Jankiel away, and they went to Muszniak for the second time.

Only after the war did the village realize that two Jewish families survived.
The great wonder was that one family was hiding at Jasiowa's farm.
They were always short of everything, and the kids ran around half naked.
Such misery.

The village people held it against Jasiowa.
After all, she endangered her neighbors and maybe even the whole village.
Then, when one of those she had saved arrived back a year later with gifts, it was too much for the villagers to take, and Jasiowa and her family had to move to another place.

No. Not really. No one held a grudge against Muszniak himself.
He used to buy a round of beer for people and bragged about all the money he pumped out of Jankiel.
Nobody minded because Muszniak drank all this money away in the pub and was generous in his round buying.

It was rumored that Jankiel and his family hid at Muszniak's place on two occasions.
The first time lasted until Jankiel ran out of money.
When drunk, Muszniak told us that he would allow them to stay if he could "play" with their daughter Rachel.
Then they went away. It was probably at that time they were around our barn.
Then they returned to Muszniak, and Muszniak's wife must have been going crazy about that 'arrangement' with Rachel.
A miracle that she had not told the police.
But she was probably afraid that the gendarmes would do them all in.

The little Rachel? She was sixteen then.
Muszniak boasted that she did not even defend herself too eagerly.
The only trouble was when she got pregnant and miscarried.

No. Muszniak did not get any medals.
When the Russians came, Jankiel immediately went to them to complain.
But their politruk, the political commander, when he got to know what it was all about, he just laughed.
Then he asked where the girl was.
So Jankiel fled as quickly as possible.

The politruk went to Muszniak, and when they got drunk, he supposedly praised Muszniak: "You not only saved peoples' lives. You also made a real woman out of a virgin. That's my man!"

Yes... That's how it was.

Alex Wieseltier - Uredte tanker
Alle rettigheder forbeholdes 2019
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