17 members of Jablon family, descendants of Jews living in Siedlce before the Second World War, visited Warsaw and Siedlce in September 2019. Forum for Dialogue organized and facilitated the meeting with students from the Queen Jadwiga High School in Siedlce, followed by a workshop and a walking tour in the city.
The visit of Jablon family was organized by Zuzanna Rudzinska-Bluszcz, a granddaughter of Zofia Olszakowska, Righteous among the Nations who saved Cypora Jablon’s daughter, Rachel during the Second World War, and Judith Greenberg, New Yorker and cousin of Rachel. Zofia Olszakowska, Cypora Jablon and Irena Zawadzka were school best friends who graduated from Queen Jadwiga School in 1930s. In 1942, Irena and Zofia took on themselves rescuing one year old daughter of their friend Cypora from Siedlce ghetto. Cypora, her husband and other members of Jablon family died during the Holocaust, but Rachel survived in hiding. After the war Rachel left for Israel where she started her own family. She kept in touch with Irena and Zofia and those bonds of friendship persevered and are continued by next generations.
On the morning of September 19th , students from Queen Jadwiga High School filled the auditorium and listened to the history of friendship between two Christian and one Jewish girl which was abruptly ended by the horror of the Second World War, but lived in a biography of Rachel, a child survivor of the Holocaust. Eighty years after the outbreak of the war, families of Zofia and Rachel met with students to talk about intertwined Polish/Jewish history, taking responsibility in darkest of times, and value of friendship and respect. Judith Greenberg and Zuzanna Rudzińska-Bluszcz showed pictures of pre-war Siedlce and Queen Jadwiga school as well as described the post-war connections and histories of Jablon family and its Polish rescuers.