Franciszek Domański - Instytut Pileckiego

Called by name / The commemorated

Franciszek Domański (~1906–1943)

Commemorated in 2021.

Franciszek Domański was commemorated by the Pilecki Institute on 28 May 2021 in Rzążew.

During the occupation he lived with his father and brother, in the village of Rzążew near Zbuczyn. His mother, Marianna Ługowska, died before the outbreak of the war. The men ran a large farm from which they made a living. They were known for their hard work and kindness to others, never refusing to help those in need. Antoni, Franciszek's younger brother, was a member of the board of the local Voluntary Fire Brigade.

At the end of August 1942, when the Germans began to liquidate the ghettos in Łosice, Morda and Siedlce, many Jews fled and sought shelter. Despite the threat of the death penalty, the Domański decided to help a few, perhaps even a dozen, fugitives probably from the ghetto in Morda. In one of their barns, in the village Wielgorz, together with the refugees, they built an underground shelter where they hid them. Under the cover of night, they supplied them with food. In exchange for the help, Jews with caution helped with the work in the field. However, their presence was noticed. After some time, the Domański began to receive warnings that they raised the interest of the German gendarmerie. Piotr repeatedly urged his sons to leave Rzążew for their own safety – but they decided to stay with their seventy-six-year-old father.

On 8 April 1943 around noon, the Domański property was visited by gendarmes. The three of hosts were brutally led out into the backyard. According to some reports, one of the Jews in hiding arrived with the Germans, who was supposed to point out who was helping him. When the Domańscy refused to admit to helping the Jews, they were subjected to savage torture in revenge. Their abusers consumed alcohol during the beatings. At the order of the already drunk gendarme, father and his sons, ran around the house with the remains of strength. Then the barely conscious were taken to the nearby forest in Radzików-Stopki and shot.

Piotr, Franciszek and Antoni Domański were buried in a common grave at the cemetery in Zbuczyn. On the day of the funeral, the Germans forbid entering the church for the rest of Domański family. It is not known what happened to the rescued Jews.

Click here to read about Commemoration in Rzążew.