Leokadia Piątkowska - Instytut Pileckiego

Permanent exhibition "Called by Name" / The commemorated

Leokadia Piątkowska (1883–1944)

Commemorated in 2021.

Leokadia Piątkowska was commemorated by the Pilecki Institute on 26 October 2021 in Węgrów.

She lived with her husband Antoni on the outskirts of Węgrów. They lived a modest life, working on their small farm. They had at least five children, but two sons died prematurely: Stefan in 1929, and Jan in 1942.

In 1942, the German occupants’ policy aimed at the extermination of the Jewish populace took its most dramatic form. The ghetto in Węgrów was liquidated; few Jews managed to escape and thus avoid deportation to the death camp of Treblinka II. One of the escapees was Mendel Klein, the owner of the mill in Węgrów, who together with another Jew whose name remains unknown arrived at the house of Leokadia and Antoni Piątkowski. Knowing perfectly well that her family could be punished for it by death, Leokadia prepared a hideout for the Jews in the cowshed.

On 27 January 1944, German gendarmes stormed into the Piątkowskis’ house. They had to know where the Jews were hiding, as they easily found the hiding place with Mendel Klein and the other Jew. The entire family was led out of the house and interrogated. The gendarmes spared no one in their brutality. Hoping to save her loved ones, Leokadia took the whole blame. She said that no one else knew that she was hiding the Jews. The Jewish men confirmed that she was the only one who brought them food.

Following the interrogation, the Germans shot Leokadia Piątkowska, Mendel Klein and his friend. The rest of the Piątkowski family were spared.

The Pilecki Institute commemorated Leokadia Piątkowska on 26 October 2021 in Węgrów.