Oral history
History witnesses

Helena Troszczyńska

Interlocutor name:
Interlocutor surname:
Klara Jackl
Piotr Boruszkowski
Catalogue number:
Recording date:
31st July 2019
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

Helena Troszczyńska, née Górska, was born in 1932 in Milanówek as the daughter of Stanisław and Anna Górski. In 1937, her family settled in Grochów in a villa at 94 Ostrobramska Street, sharing the villa with the families of its owners, Cholewiński and Kmieciński. She had a younger brother Eugeniusz.

During the war, on May 8, 1943, two escapees from the ghetto appeared in the Górski's yard. They asked Stanisław Górski for water. He warned them about a German living nearby and suggested the possibility of spending one night in an abandoned, burned-out house on the other side of the street. He gave them the key that they were to leave in the agreed place. The next day, little Helena went to pick it up from the agreed place, but it was not there. The men stayed in the hideout and convinced Górski to let them stay longer. Then they were producing moonshine in the hideout, which Anna Górska distributed. Most of the neighbours knew about Jews in hiding. They were Jerzy Rudnicki and Stanisław Rudnicki (earlier Izaak Ajzenfus). Before they got enclosed in the ghetto, Jerzy lived in Grochów, and Stanisław in Rembertów.

In 1944, Stanisław Górski was arrested in a round-up and imprisoned in the Mauthausen camp. He returned to Warsaw after liberation. There was a quarrel between him and Jerzy Rudnicki, as a result of which they broke contact with each other. Jerzy Rudnicki went to Germany, but Stanisław Rudnicki became friend of Stanisław Górski and his wife Marylka, and this friendship lasted until the death of Stanisław. Families spent holidays and celebrations with each other. Helena Troszczyńska and her parents have been honoured as Righteous Among the Nations.

Recording circumstances description

Recording summary

  1. Preliminary information about the interviewee and her family; father's work on the construction of a villa at Ostrobramska Street; settling with the Cholewiński and Kmieciński families; 00:00:25
  2. School education during the war; lessons in private homes; bombardment; 00:02:49
  3. Zacisze - former residence; father's work as a plumber; 00:06:15
  4. Jewish community at Grochowska street; lack of contact of the interviewee's family with Jews; 00:07:47
  5. Father's wartime fate after being arrested in a roundup; 00:09:30
  6. Daily life during the occupation - family visits, playing with children; 00:11:12
  7. Neighbours from the officer's estate at Ostrobramska Street; nature of the surroundings; 00:13:25
  8. War repressions, food supply, 00:15:02
  9. Two refugees from the ghetto showing up on May 8, 1943; interviewee’s father offering them shelter for one night in a burned-out house; 00:17:28
  10. Jerzy and Stanisław Rudnicki’s request for the possibility of hiding for a longer period agreed to; 00:19:42
  11. Production of moonshine for sale by Stanisław and Jerzy Rudnicki; 00:21:35
  12. Living conditions in the hideout under the stairs; 00:24:25
  13. Neighbours’ awareness of the fact that Jews are hiding in the burned-out building; father's efforts at securing the area; awareness of the house owner, Captain Karwowski, that the building is inhabited by Jews in hiding; 00:26:45
  14. Talks about the risk of hiding Jews; hiding fugitives from roundups in other places at Ostrobramska Street; 00:29:25
  15. Mother’s role in helping Jerzy and Stanisław Rudnicki; 00:32:05
  16. Exhaustion and poor health of the interviewee’s father after returning from the camp; difficult financial situation of the family; cashing the gifts received from Jerzy and Stanisław Rudnicki; 00:33:50
  17. Breaking contacts with Jerzy Rudnicki; 00:36:15
  18. Lodging an application for the Górski family to be awarded the title of Righteous Among the Nations; 00:38:08
  19. Friendship between the interviewee’s family and the Rudnicki family; 00:39:40
  20. Jerzy and Stanisław Rudnicki’s life during and after the war; 00:44:00
  21. Jerzy’s origin from Warsaw and Stanisław’s from Rembertów; handing over to the interviewee’s mother family photos of Stanisław Rudnicki, with the signature ‘To the occupation times mother’, what happened to the photos; 00:47:05
  22. Christmas without father in 1944; 00:50:35
  23. Rudnickis coming out of the hideout; 00:52:25
  24. The interviewee’s role in helping those in hiding - bringing food; 00:54:20
  25. Neighbours moving out after the Warsaw Uprising; Assassination of Heller; 00:57:10
  26. Recollection of the outbreak of war; observing bombing raids from the roof; outbreak of the Warsaw Uprising; 00:58:50
  27. Hygiene of those in hiding; pumping out septic tank at night; washing up, toilet; 01:02:00
  28. Negative reactions of acquaintances about providing hideout for Jews; 01:06:50
  29. Tailoring courses; Interviewee's work at the Ortowianka Cooperative; 01:09:02
  30. Comments on the brother, the role of the brother, information about the brother, brother's relations with …, 01:11:35
  31. A neighbour, Bukowińska, knew that Górski family were hiding Jews, relations with the Bukowiński family, 01:13:45
  32. Daniel Rudnicki in the Polish Army, 00:17:15
  33. Stanisław Górski deciding to help Rudnickis; motivations of the interviewee's parents; 00:18:40
  34. Spending time in the evenings during the occupation; 01:22:19
  35. Rudnickis’ desperation after leaving the ghetto; 01:23:45
  36. Stanisław's nervous character; avoiding war-related topics; despair after the death of his wife; 01:25:12
  37. Meeting and regular contact of the interviewee's family with the family of Stanisław Rudnicki; Stanisław Rudnicki setting up a carpentry workshop; 01:27:05
  38. Post-war conflict between the interviewee's father and Jerzy Rudnicki; 01:29:56
  39. A Jewish girl in hiding at the Cholewiński family; 01:30:30
  40. Parents' reluctance to return to the place where they lived during the war; 01:32:05
  41. Neighbours’ awareness that the interviewee's family helps Jews; 01:32:28
  42. Organization of moonshine distribution and minor participation of the interviewee’s in this process; 01:35:27
  43. Attitude to contemporary discussions about the Righteous Among the Nations; fear of telling acquaintances about being awarded the title of the Righteous; 01:38:30
  44. Memory of the history of Rudnicki's help in the interviewee's family; acquaintance of Stanisław Rudnicki with the interviewee’s daughters; 01:44:45
  45. Not much talk about war experiences; 01:46:20
  46. Recollection of the ceremony of awarding the title of Righteous Among the Nations in the Sejm; feeling of being omitted by the brother; 01:48:54
  47. Receipt of the award from the president in Rzeszów; 01:51:17
  48. First names, surnames and dates of life of family members; information about Jerzy Rudnicki, 01:52:20
  49. Memory about the parents, 01:57:30
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