Stories of rescuers: Maria Huszcz-Borusińska

ID: 212
Maria Huszcz-Borusińska helped few Jewish acquaintances of her to hide, as well as carefully hide this fact from others.

The story is a part of the theme Reactions of Lvivians to Holocaust, which was prepared within the program The Complicated Pages of Common History: Telling About World War II in Lviv.

Maria Huszcz-Borusińska and her family lived in Lviv. Maria was a housewife and her husband was a baker. Her daughter Alicia recalls that in their mixed family they spoke both Ukrainian and Polish, attended both Greek Catholic and Roman Catholic churches and celebrated religious holidays in both traditions.

The Nazi occupation was a turning point in the family's life. Maria's husband was arrested by the Gestapo and sent to the Majdanek concentration camp, where he died. Alicia recalls:

My mother was one of thousands of women who found themselves in an extremely critical and difficult situation. She was 29 years old when she suddenly found herself alone with three tiny children. The youngest was one year old and the oldest was six years old. However, she managed to raise these children, to feed them, and she was able to take care of someone else's child as her own, and certainly saved her life.

The child that Maria took under her protection was Róża Kaufman. She also helped other Jewish acquaintances. Maria passed the food to the ghetto, it was brought by little Alicia who wore an armband with the Star of David. The Tauchman family (Kamila, Czesław, Renia and Tadeusz) hid in the Huszcz's apartment for some time. However, due to denunciation by neighbours, the Gestapo arrested them. Maria miraculously escaped punishment. There was no more information about the fate of the Tauchmans, most likely they died in Lviv or were deported to a death camp.

After a while, an acquaintance asked Maria for a favour. 12-year-old Róża Kaufman was hiding in her house, and she had to leave for a few days. Maria agreed to accept the girl for the time being. However, the woman did not return after a long time. Despite hesitation, fear and danger, Maria left Róża in her house. Due to the suspicions of neighbours, she decided to take the girl to her mother’s house in the town of Solec-Zdrój, where Róża stayed till the end of the Nazi occupation. In addition, Maria hid her friend Tadeusz Barmet for some time; he also survived the war.

Róża Kaufman moved to Israel after the war and changed her name to Shoshanna Glickstein. She maintained close contact with Maria and her children. At the request of Róża-Shoshanna, in 1987 Maria Huszcz-Borusińska was recognized as one of the Righteous Among the Nations.

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1. "Huszcz-Borusińska Maria", Yad Vashem Database (accessed on 15.11.2018).
2. Martyna Grądzka-Rejak, "Nasze mieszkanie niespodziewanie stało się takim adresem, gdzie można się na chwilę ukryć" — historia Marii Huszcz", Polscy Sprawiedliwi (accessed on 20.11.2018).

Cover photo: Maria Huszcz-Borusińska. Source: Collection of the Jewish Historical Institute in Warsaw.

Anna Chebotariova
Translated by Andriy Masliukh