Franciszek Kierylak - Instytut Pileckiego

Permanent exhibition "Called by Name" / The commemorated

Franciszek Kierylak (~1884–1943)

Commemorated in 2020.

Franciszek Kierylak was commemorated by Pilecki Institute on 4 June 2020 in Sterdyń.

He lived at the Paulinów estate, where he worked as a caretaker and groom. Following the liquidation of the ghetto in Sterdyń in autumn 1942, many Jews went to hide in the nearby forests. Franciszek often allowed them to spend the night in the barn on the estate. This went on for several months. On 23 and 24 February 1943, the Germans laid siege to the residents of Paulinów and the Jews that were hiding there. They were also looking for escaped Red Army soldiers, and around 2,000 soldiers and policemen took part in the operation. Witnesses also claim that Ernst Gramss, the infamously cruel starost of the Sokołów-Węgrów district and founder of the Treblinka I camp, was among them. Franciszek was shot only because his name was on a list prepared by an unknown man claiming to be a Jew. This man had previously been helped by the local residents and, as it turned out, was an agent provocateur who had noted Kierylak’s name.