Irena Dragicewicz-Sycz

Irena Schwarz’s father got her out the Lwow ghetto when she was nine years old and placed her in the care of Janina Sycz, who lived with her children, Andrzej, Wlodzimierz, and Irena. Because of the danger they faced, Sycz and her children moved into her father’s home in Skarzysko-Kamienna, where she obtained Aryan papers for the Jewish girl and represented her as a relative.

Irena’s true identity was not disclosed even to Sycz’s father and the girl was treated like a full-fledged member of the family. Although their home was impoverished, the Syczes shared their meager food with their ward without remuneration until the end of the occupation. After the war, Janina Sycz located relatives of Irena’s in the United States and placed the girl in their custody. Subsequently, Irena moved to Israel and stayed in close touch with Sycz until the latter died. Her son, Andrzej Sycz, also settled in Israel and became a permanent resident there. Irena Schwarz’s friendship with Irena Dragicewicz, Sycz’s daughter, outlasted the war by many years and included economic assistance and visits to Israel.

On June 10, 1982, Yad Vashem recognized Janina Sycz as Righteous Among the Nations. On July 27, 1988, Yad Vashem recognized Andrzej Sycz, his brother Wlodzimierz Sycz, and their sister, Irena Dragicewicz-Sycz, as Righteous Among the Nations.

(Excerpt from “The Encyclopedia of the Righteous Among the Nations”, Poland, Yad Vashem Publications, p. 774)