Podgórska Stefania (1925)
Podgórska Stefania  (1925)

Stefania (Fusia) Podgуrska
Date of Birth: 1925
Place of Birth: Lipa, Poland
Stefania was born to a Catholic family in a village near Przemyl. They lived on a large farm and cultivated several different crops. While her father worked with the farmhands in the fields, Stefania's mother, a trained midwife, managed the house and cared for her eight children.
1933-39: My father died in 1938 after an illness. With my mother's approval, I joined my sister in Przemyl in 1939. At 14 I worked in a grocery store owned by the Diamants, a Jewish family. They treated me like family, and I moved in with them when the Germans invaded on September 14, 1939. But two weeks later, the Soviets occupied the city. The grocery store stayed open; I shopped in the market for food to sell to our customers.
1940-44: The Germans again occupied the city in June 1941. Like all Jews in Przemyl, the Diamants were forced into a ghetto. My mother was sent to Germany for forced labor; I was 16 and left to care for my 6-year-old sister. I found us an apartment outside the ghetto and traded clothes for food. In 1942 news spread that the ghetto was being liquidated. I decided to help some Jews escape the final roundups by hiding them. I moved into a cottage for more space. Soon, 13 Jews were living in a secret space in my attic.
Przemyl was liberated on July 27, 1944. The Jews that 17-year-old Stefania helped to hide all survived the war. In 1961 she moved to the United States with Josef Diamant, whom she married.
See http://www.podgourski.net/content/2449.html and other photos from


Stefania Podgorska (foreground, center) lived with her younger sister Helena, hiding 13 Jews in their attic for two years. Joe Burzminski (background, left), a Jew she rescued, married her shortly after the end of the war.

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