Podgajny Mieczysław and Pracka Otylia

Podgajny Mieczysław and Pracka Otylia

Righteous Among Nations

Their Rescue Story

Until the outbreak of the war, Mieczysław Podgajny and his sister Otylia Pracka lived in Ostrowiec Świtokrzyski, in the Kielce district, and had ties with many local Jews. Early in the occupation, they moved to Warsaw where they shared an apartment. When the Germans began to liquidate the Jews of Ostrowiec, Podgajny and his sister became an address for Jews fleeing from the Ostrowiec ghetto looking for a place to hide on the Aryan side of the capital. Their one-room apartment and cellar served as a transit station, through which the following Jews passed: Marian Kargul, Wanda Zilberdrut, Jakier and Jenta Czernikowksi and their two daughters, Henryk Leszczyński, Mrs. Kierblowa and her daughter, Stanisław Hollander and Mrs. Warwejclowa and her daughter. Podgajny and Pracka obtained “Aryan” papers, jobs and places to live for the Jewish fugitives, both in and outside of Warsaw. Thanks to connections they had with people who knew how to cross the borders illegally, Podgajny and his sister managed to get a number of the Jews they cared for out of Poland to Hungary through Czechoslovakia, thus saving their lives. Towards the end of the occupation, the Germans arrested Podgajny on suspicion of helping Jews and he was freed only after the liberation. Podgajny and Pracka neither asked for nor received any remuneration for their efforts to save Jews, and everything they did was motivated by altruism.
On September 19, 1983, Yad Vashem recognized Mieczysław Podgajny and his sister Otylia Pracka as Righteous Among the Nations. (Source: Yad Vashem)

---excerpted from the Yad Vashem recognition page

Mode of Rescue

  • Hiding
  • Providing forged documents
  • Other


Czernikowska, Frymka
Czernikowska, Jenta
Czernikowski, Jakier
Hollander, Holański, Stanisław
Kargul, Marian
Kierblowa, First name unknown
Leszczyński, Henryk
Obarzanek, Czernikowska, Barbara
Warwejclowa, First name unknown
Zilberdrut, Wanda

Links to the Rescue Story

Yad Vashem Recognition

Database of Righteous Among the Nations