Adela Budnik

The Hellreichs lived with their three children in the village of Kaczanowka, in the Tarnopol district, not far from Piotr Budnik, an unmarried farmer who lived in a cottage with his elderly parents. When the Germans occupied the area, the local Jews, including the Hellreichs, were sent to the Tarnopol ghetto. In 1942, when the Germans began liquidating the ghetto, Budnik remembered his former neighbors and risked his life by entering the ghetto to rescue the children. Knowing that his elderly parents would object to his hiding the children, Budnik kept their presence a secret from them.

After preparing a hiding place for them in an outhouse on his farm, Budnik tokk care of the three young refuges single-handedly. His task was made all the harder by the fact that he had to keep their existence hidden from his parents. In order to provide for their upkeep, Budnik sold produce on the market without his parents’ knowledge. Although the Germans and their Ukrainian accomplices periodically raided the village in search of Jews, they never discovered the Hellreichs’ hiding place. However, after Estera and Wolf contracted typhus, the danger of discovery grew and Budnik had no option but to move them to a bunker in a distant field, which he himself had dug. Budnik continued to visit them in their new hiding place, providing them with bread and water, even when he himself contracted typhus. The Hellreich children were liberated in the summer of 1944. After the war, Budnik married Adela and they immigrated to Israel together with Estera and Wolf.

In October 18, 1966, Yad Vashem recognized Piotr Budnik as a Righteous Among the Nations.

(Excerpt from “The Encyclopedia of the Righteous Among the Nations”, Poland, Yad Vashem Publications, p.119-120)