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"Mother of Four" – The Story of the Strutyński Family, Drohobych

IPN's educational series of short films Not Only the Ulmas presents well-researched examples of Poles who saved Jews under German occupation during World War II. Each episode is focusing on a separate person, and most often a family or several families, whose members risked, and most often lost, their lives trying to protect their Jewish fellow citizens. The series was preperad by the IPN's Spokesperson's Office in cooperation with IPN's Office of International Cooperation and with researchers at the IPN’s Historical Research Office.

Maria Strutyńska took care of her four children and gave shelter to thirteen people of Jewish origin persecuted by the German occupiers. During the German occupation on Polish territory, Maria Strutyńska née Gajewska and her husband Klaudiusz lived in Drohobych in the Galicia district of the General Government. Maria worked as a Polish and German teacher, whereas Klaudiusz was a mining engineer. Together they raised four children: Teresa, Kazimiera, Lesław and Stanisław. It was a very pious and religious Polish family. Before the war, they maintained friendly relations with the local Jews. Klaudiusz Strutyński had an acquaintance named Henefeld. When the Soviet authorities evicted the Henefeld family from their home in 1939, they rented a room in the Strutyńskis’ house.

Klaudiusz Strutyński died at the beginning of 1941. Half a year later, on 22 June, Adolf Hitler gave the order to start the Operation Barbarossa, breaking the German-Soviet pact concluded two years earlier. German troops entered Drohobych on 3 July 1941, beginning the three-year period of German occupation. The Germans sought to liquidate the Polish elite and to completely exterminate people of Jewish origin.

We encourage you to watch the movie and learn more about this story:


Watch previous episodes of the series "Not only about the Ulma's".

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