Franciszka Sowa - Instytut Pileckiego

Called by name / The commemorated

Franciszka Sowa (1907–1943)

Commemorated in 2020.

Franciszka Sowa was commemorated by Pilecki Institute on 16 June 2020 in Wierzchowisko.

She lived with her husband Józef and their five children in Wierzchowisko. The family got by mainly by working the land, and Franciszka’s husband took part in the battles fought in 1939. In the summer of 1942, the Sowas decided to start helping the Jews who had managed to escape the ghetto in Częstochowa. Józef was a carpenter, and so he built a bunker in their barn that was apparently large enough to hide seven people. The shelter was also made available to partisans. Despite the difficulties in organizing food for so many people, Franciszka, who was in the final trimester of pregnancy at the time, helped her husband in any way she could. Early in the morning on 1 September 1943, the Germans arrived near the Sowas’ property, suspecting that partisans were hiding there. They pulled all of the family out of the house and began to interrogate them and beat them brutally. Franciszka, because of her pregnancy, fainted repeatedly. The eldest of her sons were beaten and had rifles pointed at them in an attempt to gain information about the hiding place. None of the boys confessed, but a search of the grounds confirmed the German soldiers’ suspicions, and they discovered a partisan and Jews. Franciszka, now unconscious from the beating, was shot along with her husband while their five children looked on.

Franciszka Sowa was commemorated by Pilecki Institute on 16 June 2020 in Wierzchowisko, click here to read about it.