Zofia Marta Avni-Wieczorek

AVNI-WIECZOREK, Zofia Marta
In April 1943, ten-year-old Irena Machenbaum, her mother, Tova, and her uncle, Gustav Blajchman, succeeded in escaping from the blazing inferno of the Warsaw ghetto. When they reached the Aryan side of the city, they met a prewar acquaintance, Zofia Wieczorek. Zofia took the three refugees to an attic apartment, which she had rented as a hideout for Jews under her protection.

Gustav Blajchman’s wife, Miriam, and their two children, Natan and Efraim, were already sheltering there. Zofia’s brother, Antoni, built a false wall behind which the Jews could hide in times of danger, while her mother, Aleksandra, took care of all the fugitives’ needs. In due course, the Blajchmans’ son Efraim died. For a week, his body remained in the apartment, until Aleksandra cleverly succeeded in having the child buried under a false name. The Jews remained in the refuge until the outbreak of the Warsaw Uprising in August 1944. The Wieczoreks received no recompense for their actions, which were motivated by purely humanitarian considerations. For a short period, Gustav Blajchman’s sister-in-law and an escapee from the Pawiak prison in Warsaw, Lilian Stern, also stayed in the apartment. Zofia Wieczorek subsequently married a Jewish man by the name of Avni and the couple moved to Israel.

On December 25, 1984, Yad Vashem recognized Zofia Marta Avni née Wieczorek, her mother Aleksandra Wieczorek, and her brother, Antoni Wieczorek, as Righteous Among the Nations.

(Excerpt from “The Encyclopedia of the Righteous Among the Nations”, Poland, Yad Vashem Publications, p. 62)