Warszawa / Ochota / 77 Grójecka Street
  • Memorial plaque of the “Krysia” bunker at 77 Grójecka Street, 2017, photo: A. Barański, Pańska Skórka

  • Memorial plaque of the “Krysia” bunker at 77 Grójecka Street, 2017, photo: A. Barański, Pańska Skórka

  • Emanuel Ringelblum, photo: Jewish Historical Institute

"Krysia" Bunker

„On 7 March 1944, before noon, the Germans and Blue Policemen turned up at the kitchen where my mum, my brother Mieczysław, myself and my ailing sister Halina were present. They took my brother straight to the glasshouse in the garden,” Wanda Szandurska, nee Wolska, stated in her account. „[…] I ran into the room and closed the shutters to signal danger. Janusz was standing by the glasshouse; when he saw the shutters pulled down, he ran to ‘Krysia’ and stayed there.”

The ‘Krysia’ bunker was built on the Wolski family’s plot, on the initiative of the Jewish Social Self-Help activists. Mieczysław, a gardener, had already been helping escapees from the ghetto. The hideout under the glasshouse was 28 square metres large. Approximately forty people had hidden there since its construction, among them Emanuel Ringelblum who wrote: “When the need arose to rescue the present tenants of ‘Krysia’ from the ghetto, Mr W. [Mieczysław] himself rode the cart to the “meeting place,” packed suitcases and bags onto the cart, helped the people up to sit on the bags, and went home. Once he took 8 people, women and children, and rode them along the city’s main streets – regardless of the police, the shmaltzovniks and the neighbours – to bring them home safely.” Those in hiding covered the cost of board and lodging, partially supported financially by the Council to Aid Jews. “Ms M. [Małgorzata] is the heart of ‘Krysia’,” Ringelblum wrote. “Mr W. [Mieczysław] is its brain, while Ms M.’s grandson, Mariusz [Janusz Wysocki, Mieczysław’s nephew] is its eyes, its guardian angel and a steadfast companion.”

The hideout was given away by an informer, or an ex-girlfriend of Wolski. All those in hiding, as well as Janusz Wysocki, Mieczysław and Maria (or Halina – the sources remain inconsistent here) were most likely shot dead three days later in the area of the already non-existent ghetto.

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