A Commemoration of the Postek Family - Instytut Pileckiego
A Commemoration of the Postek Family
During the German occupation, the Postek family sheltered and nourished 17 Jews, for which they paid the highest price. On Sunday, 30 June 2019, the Pilecki Institute paid tribute to those murdered.
A memorial plaque commemorating Julianna, Stanisław, Henryk and Wacław Postek was unveiled in the town of Stoczek (Węgrów county) within the framework of the “Called by Name” project.
Cecylia Borkowska, daughter of Julianna and Stanisław Postek, was a guest of honor at the ceremony, also attended by Deputy Minister of Culture and National Heritage Prof. Magdalena Gawin; the Director of the Pilecki Institute Dr. Wojciech Kozłowski; and the head of Stoczek municipality Zbigniew Kłusek. Letters from Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki and from the Deputy Speaker of the Senate Maria Koc were read.
After mass, those in attendance walked to the church square, where the plaques were unveiled and blessed. The first plaque, in honor of Julianna, Stanisław, Henryk and Wacław Postek, was unveiled by Minister Magdalena Gawin and Cecylia Borkowska née Postek. The second, dedicated to residents of Stoczek municipality who suffered repressions during the German occupation, was unveiled by Dr. Wojciech Kozłowski and the head of the municipality, Zbigniew Kłusek, accompanied by the representatives of families who had helped Jews during the war or suffered repressions at the hands of the German occupier.
During the unveiling, Minister Magdalena Gawin emphasized that the “Called by Name” project had been started in order to commemorate Poles who helped Jews during World War II and who paid for it with their lives.
"We have already commemorated them in many localities across north-western Mazowsze. On Saturday there was a commemoration in Ostrów Mazowiecka on the 75th anniversary of the martyrdom of Jadwiga Długoborska, and there we also commemorated Lucyna Radziejowska, who was deported to Auschwitz-Birkenau. Today we are meeting in Stoczek Węgrowski to honor the Postek family. It was a large family, with ten children of their own, and despite this they consistently aided Jews during the German occupation,” she said.
The Postek couple moved to Stoczek shortly before the outbreak of the war. Stanisław was a forest ranger, while Julianna looked after the house. They lived together with their eight children: Henryk, Wacław, Franciszek, Jerzy, Józef, Cecylia, Marianna and Zofia. In July 1942, three escapees from the Warsaw ghetto (which was being liquidated) asked them for shelter. The Posteks decided to help them despite the death penalty that they would be subject to if discovered. In September 1942, during the liquidation of the Stoczek ghetto, the group in hiding was joined by Hajkel, an acquaintance, along with a couple whose name remains unknown. At the end of 1942, two brothers and a sister (with a small child) from the Majorek family asked the Posteks for shelter. After the revolt in the camp at Treblinka in August 1943 those in hiding were joined by more fugitives. In total, 17 people were in hiding in two hiding places on the farm.
On 5 September 1943, around 10 a.m., the Posteks’ farm was surrounded by German gendarmes. Stanisław and Julianna were at home with Henryk, Wacław and Franciszek. Cecylia and Jerzy were at school, while Marianna and Zofia had gone mushroom-picking. During the search the Germans first found the Jews hiding in the cellar of a burnt house. They were shot in the nearby woods. Having resumed their search, the Germans also found the other bunker, whose inhabitants were shot on the spot. The gendarmes arrested Stanisław, Henryk and Wacław (Franciszek managed to flee). They were sent to Pawiak prison in Warsaw. For providing food to Jews, the Germans massacred Julianna Postek with sticks. She died of her wounds the next day. Stanisław Postek never returned home. From the Pawiak, he was sent to Auschwitz-Birkenau, where he perished in March 1944. Henryk and Wacław were released, but after a few months the Germans began harassing them about Jews in hiding again. The brothers were re-arrested and their subsequent fate remains unknown.