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News

2015-05-22

Entrepreneur wants to save the house - a Jewish hideout

In Przemyśl, a private investor has purchased a house in which 13 Jews found shelter during World War II. He wants to preserve this place for future generations.

The place in question is the old tenement house at 3 Tatarska Street. Since 1942 up to the liberation, two orphan girls – 16 years old Stefania Podgórska and her 9 years old sister Helena – had provided an asylum to the Diamant family of 13 people. They all survived the war. After the war, Stefania Podgórska married one of the rescued Jews – Maksymilian Diamant.

In 1979, both women were awarded the title of the Righteous Among the Nations.

In 1996, this extraordinary story became a base of the film “Hidden in Silence” directed by Richard A.Colla.

Three years ago, the deserted and neglected building at 3 Tatarska Street was put up for sale. Social workers and politicians came forward with various ideas concerning its future. There were suggestions, for instance, to make the building over to the Foundation of Jewish Heritage in return for giving up a part of claims concerning the restitution of property of the former Jewish community in Przemysl.

In April, the house was purchased by Maciej Piórkowski, owner of a private enterprise “Orion” dealing with renovation of monuments of history.

Ilustracja

During today’s telephone conversation with a representative of the Virtual Shtetl website, Maciej Piórkowski said: “You can call it a whim but I wanted to save the historic building from oblivion and preserve it for the sake of its history. I do not have any precise plans at this stage. I would like the house to be accessible to visitors where they would be able, for example, to watch a film telling the story of hiding Jews there.”

The house is in a poor technical condition. Now, the new owner faces a difficult challenge of renovating it.

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After the article was finished, Łukasz Biedka, who remains in contact with survivor Janek Zimmerman, contacted Virtual Shtetl. He wrote: “This is not the building. The one-storey house with a tiny attic where 13 Jews found shelter was in the large yard, behind the building on Tatarska 3 Street. It was demolished in the 1980s and currently there are warehouses in its place. The only remnant of the small house is a mark on a nearby building. This is the place, where the house’s top wall was. The Jews in hiding added to that wall the a double wall in the attic".

Author: Krzysztof Bielawski
Sources: Polskie Radio Rzeszów, own information

 

 

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