Joanna Sobolewska-Pyz was born in July 1939 as a daughter of Halina and Tomasz Grynszpan. In 1943 she lost her parents. A small girl was rescued by a Polish Police officer of General Government, who carried her from the ghetto to the Aryan side of the city. She started living with her mother’s teacher, Wanda Niczowa.
“Ms Niczowa told me, that I was very lousy. A piece of paper with her address was pinned to my clothes. That is why the police office brought me to her. It was she who told me about my grandparents and parents,” recollects the interlocutor of Polish Radio 24.
Then, Joanna Sobolewska-Pyz came under the care of Anastazja and Walerian Sobolewski who decided to adopt her. As she told, Wanda Niczowa was taking care of one Jewish girl and was afraid to take another one. That is why she gave Joanna another family.
“Ms Niczowa took me, but just for a while. She was afraid of keeping two girls and was pretending that she has only one child. In a hat she took one of us for a walk, then the second one. She was pretending that it is the same child (…). My parents really wanted to have a baby, but they did not have their own children. It was a war, there were orphans, they decided to help them,” Joanna Sobolewska-Pyz reported.
For her whole teenager life Joanna Sobolewska-Pyz did not know that she is a Jewess. Just before the matura exams she found out the truth. In 1960s she learned her Jewish parents’ names, the history of her family and she found some relatives in Israel.
Polish Radio 24