Monday, April 9, 2007

Jean's Aunt

"The German directives were clear and the punishment for defying them equally clear. A Pole caught selling bread to Jews outside the Warsaw ghetto, for example, was automatically sentenced to three months at hard labor. Jean Kowalyk, a nineteen-year-old who would later hide seven Jews in the small farmhouse where she and her mother lived, learned early on that the Germans meant what they said. When the Polish village of Zorotowyci was invaded by the Germans, all food became the property of the Third Reich. The penalty for raising cattle or chickens for home consumption was death. Jean’s aunt was caught raising food to feed her nine children. She was arrested and sent to a concentration camp. Sixteen weeks later only her clothes came back home."

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