In 1939, Leon Hornung, his wife and chilKOLESNICHENKO,dren moved from their hometown, Cieszyn, in Upper Silesia, to Stryj, in the Stanislawow district, under Soviet rule. When the Germans occupied the region, his wife and younger children were interned in the ghetto and later, during the liquidation of the ghetto, sent to the Belzec extermination camp while Hornung remained on the Aryan side of the city with his two elder sons.
Since they spoke German they were able to masquerade as Volksdeutsche and found work in a German construction company in Podwoloczyska, in the Tarnopol district. In order to avoid suspicion Hornung and his sons employed a Ukrainian maid name Anna Tomczak. Only when the company’s management demanded to see their documents and they had to flee the city did Tomczak realize that her employers were Jewish. After the three moved to Drohobycz and found work as Poles, they decided to send for Tomczak. Tomczak, who looked Aryan enough to allay any suspicions concerning the Hornungs’ origins, pretended to be Leon’s wife. To her credit, she never made the Hornungs feel that they were at her mercy but faithfully fulfilled her role as housewife and mother, frequently helping Hornung and his children out of thorny predicaments. In time, Hornung and Tomczak became more than friends. Tomczak stayed with Hornung and his children until the area was liberated in August 1944. After the war, Hornung and Tomczak married and immigrated to Israel together with Hornung’s two sons.
(Excerpt from”The Encyclopedia of the Righteous Among the Nations”, Poland, Yad Vashem Publications, p. 278)