Oral history
History witnesses

Władysław Hosticzko

Interlocutor name:
Interlocutor surname:
Mateusz Szczepaniak
Grzegorz Liwiński
Catalogue number:
Recording date:
28th July 2017
Recording location:
Recording duration:
Recording language:
Recording copyright:
POLIN Museum of the History of the Polish Jews
Poles Who Rescued Jews During the Holocaust

Related places

Interlocutor biogram

Władysław Hosticzko was born on 27 June 1930 in Żytyń, Volhynia; he had a sister 3 years older than him. Their father (d. 1977) was a soldier in the Border Protection Corps (Polish: Korpus Ochrony Pogranicza), he served mainly in reserve battalions and because of that the family has to relocate frequently; their mother came from Palcze and was the daughter of a farmer.

At the beginning of the war, Władysław Hosticzko’s family were forced to flee Żytyń and move in with their distant relatives, who lived at the Hutory farm near Palcze. It was there that they hid Edwarda Finkielgus, a pre-war Jewish school friend whose family had died in a ghetto near Żytyń, for several months; Edwarda was then employed as a domestic worker at the farm owned by the brother of Władysław Hosticzko’s grandfather. His family had to flee from groups of Ukrainian militants again, this time to Kiwerce (Ukrainian: Kivertsi), from where she was repatriated to the vicinity of Chełm after the war ended.

In 1951, Władysław Hosticzko passed his secondary school final examinations in Racibórz; he graduated from the Warsaw University of Technology in 1955 and got married in the same year, with his daughter being born one year later. He worked as an engineer in industry and then in international trade, stayed at various diplomatic missions, for example in Madrid, Portugal, Argentina. He retired in 1993 and lived in Warsaw together with his wife. Władysław Hosticzko passed away in 2021.

Recording circumstances description

The interview was recorded as part of the project “Polish Righteous – Recalling Forgotten History” implemented by the POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews.

Recording summary

  1. Information on the interviewee’s father; childhood; 00:00:22
  2. Start of the war; flight to the countryside; information on the interviewee’s mother; life under Soviet occupation; 00:02:21
  3. German occupation; flight from groups of Ukrainian militants to Kiwerce; the father’s entrance into the Polish army; repatriation; 00:04:18
  4. Reunion with his father near Chełm after the war; the father’s work for the Border Guard Troops (Polish: Wojska Ochrony Pogranicza); 00:06:56
  5. The interviewee’s education, working and private life; 00:07:25
  6. Pre-war Żytyń; a Jewish family they knew (Edwarda Finkielgus – a school friend of the interviewee’s sister); attitude towards Jews in Żytyń; 00:11:22
  7. Start of the war; flight with the help of distant relatives; 00:15:30
  8. Establishment of ghettos near Żytyń and in Równe (Ukrainian: Rivne); 00:18:38
  9. Escape of the Edwarda’s half-sister, Maria, to inland Russia and placement of the remaining family members (Edwarda, their brother Abram and parents) in the ghetto; Edwarda’s escape with the consent of the ghetto commander, help of friends and Wehrmacht soldiers; 00:20:00
  10. Edwarda’s arrival in Palcze and hiding her at the interviewee’s family home; 00:25:17
  11. Employment of Edwarda at the farm owned by the brother of the interviewee’s grandfather; 00:28:16
  12. First Ukrainian murders and flight of the interviewee’s family; incursion of Soviet troops; return of Edwarda’s half-sister; 00:31:01
  13. Living conditions at the Hutory farm near Palcze; 00:33:09
  14. Edwarda’s life in hiding; documents; awareness of the threat; 00:38:18
  15. The family’s life at the time of the Volhynia massacre; 00:43:49
  16. Life of Edwarda’s half-sister during the war; 00:50:00
  17. Repatriation; service of the interviewee’s father in the army; 00:51:10
  18. Contact with Edwarda after the war; Edwarda’s help in the process of the interviewee’s father; 00:54:47
  19. Lives of Edwarda and Maria after the war; 00:58:14
  20. Emigration of Edwarda and her husband; recovery of citizenship after 1989; Edwarda’s death; 01:00:04
  21. Memories of March 1968; 01:05:15
  22. Recognition of the interviewee’s parents as Righteous Among the Nations; 01:06:42
  23. The Finkielgus family; 01:13:38
  24. Reflection on the reasons for helping Jews; relations with the distant relatives with whom Edwarda stayed; 01:15:27
  25. Sense of threat; 01:21:19
  26. Relations with Ukrainians; the Volhynia massacre; 01:23:24
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