Warszawa / Mokotów / 43a Rakowiecka Street
  • Tenement building at 43a Rakowiecka Street, 2017, photo: M. Kaczyński, Pańska Skórka

  • Tenement building at 43a Rakowiecka Street, 2017, photo: M. Kaczyński, Pańska Skórka

  • Tenement building at 43a Rakowiecka Street, 2017, photo: M. Kaczyński, Pańska Skórka

  • Janusz Ginalski at POLIN Museum, Warsaw, 2016, photo: M. Szczepaniak, POLIN Museum

  • Arbeitskarte - worker's card of Janusz Ginalski, photo: family archive, POLIN Museum

The Ginalski Family

„We occupied the wing of the building from the side of Opoczyńska Street,” recalls Janusz Ginalski. “Our flat served as a conspiratorial meeting point, my father was quartermaster of the 4th Sub-district of the Home Army.” Mother was the head of the Home Army contact point.

In May 1944, the Ginalskis took Ms Sarnecka with her 6-year-old son Maciej, who had been hiding on the “Aryan side.” “All mum said was that they had been recommended,” explains Janusz. They occupied a room next to the kitchen, facing the courtyard. Ms Sarnecka worked at the Schneider’s office which was part of the Todt Organisation (organising transport of forced labourers in the east). Her son spent time together with Seweryn, Janusz’s younger brother.

“The doorbell rang at 8am. There were two of them – a blue policeman and a member of Cripo [Criminal Polizei],” recalls Janusz, who on that very day was visiting family in Stara Miłosna. “We were informed that you’re hiding kikes here.” Mum replied: “See for yourself – it’s just me and the boys.” “And these are your sons, Janusz and Seweryn?” “Yes.” „Then we need to search the flat.” At that point mum said to Seweryn: „Januszek, take Sewerek for a walk, I need to talk to the gentlemen.” My brother took Maciek by the hand and they left. […] When they returned, mum went straight to Ms Sarnecka, who asked to bring Maciek over at 5pm. Ms Sarnecka took Maciek and disappeared.”