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Black Madonna of Czestochowa medal given to a Polish Jewish woman living as a Catholic laborer

Object | Accession Number: 1988.154.2

Religious medal of the Virgin Mary, Matka Boska of Czestochowska, given to 22 year Raszka Galek in June 1943 by Jan Majewski to protect her from danger. Jan hid Raszka in his refugee camp for displaced Polish people and gave Raszka the medal when she left the camp. The medal had belonged to Jan’s brother, a Catholic priest who was killed in Auschwitz. In November 1940, a year after the German occupation of Poland in September 1939, Raszka (Rose) Galek, her parents Moshe and Fela, and her younger sisters Deana and Sala were confined to the Warsaw ghetto. In April 1943, Raszka’s parents were shot as she watched and her sisters deported to a concentration camp and presumed killed. Raszka escaped and went into hiding. A resistance member, Jan Majewski, helped her obtain false papers as a Polish Catholic, Maria Kowalczyk. In June, she was sent as a forced laborer to a farm in Krummhardt, Germany. Raszka was liberated by US forces in April 1945. She moved to Stuttgart displaced persons camp and emigrated to the United States in 1947.

Date
1943 June  (received)
Geography
received : Warsaw (Poland)
Category
Medals
Credit Line
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Rose Brunswic, in memory of her parents Fela and Moshe Galek and in memory of Jan Majewski
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Record last modified: 2018-10-30 13:53:14
This page: https://collections.ushmm.org/search/catalog/irn370