Monday, April 9, 2007
Kowalyk's nine-year-old nephew
"Rescuers never knew if an informer had given the Gestapo intelligence about their whereabouts or if the Gestapo was just pursuing a hunch. ‘Whatever the case, rescuers had to give the performance of their lives. On one occasion, the Nazis burst in unexpectedly at the Kowalyks’ residence. Jean Kowalyk, who lived with her mother, had practically no warning. Her charges had barely enough time to hide before the soldiers climbed the stairs to the attic. There in plain view was a table littered with cigarette butts and cards. Cigarette smoke still lingered in the air. At this dangerous moment, Kowalyk’s nine ear-old nephew spoke up. He confessed that he and his friends had been secretly playing cards and smoking. He pleaded with the soldiers not to tell his mother, as she would beat him if she knew. The Germans promised to keep his secret and left."