Many people in the ghetto knew the address of the ‘A&E for fugitives’. Its owner, Jadwiga Deneka known as ‘Ms Wisia’, was Irena Sendler’s liaison and collaborated with ‘Żegota’ and with the Polish Socialist Party.
“I remember huge tomatoes ripening in the sun on the window sill at the flat in Koło,” Katarzyna Meloch, was was 10 at the time, wrote many years later. “They caught my attention when I arrived there from the ghetto, where – since the Umschlagplatz had started operating – nobody noticed anymore what season it was.” Kasia was led out of the ghetto by a Polish nurse in 1942. The girl, daughter of Jadwiga Deneka’s friend, joined her grandma who had already been staying in the flat on Obozowa Street for some time. “Our ‘saviour’ not only conspired and hid Jews – she also tended to her allotment! Grandma and I used to walk to the allotment (none of us with an ID). We felt totally safe!”
Jadwiga Deneka did not live till the end of the war. In 1943, the Germans discovered location of an underground press distribution managed by Jadwiga. She hid Jews there as well. Despite the tortures, she did not give anybody in. She was executed, together with 11 Jewish women, on the ruins of the ghetto.
Kasia Meloch survived the war under the name Irena Dąbrowska at the convent in Turkowice.