First and last name: Franciszek Gniewek
Place during the war: Rzeszów, Podkarpackie Voivodeship (former Lwowskie Voivodeship)
When Franciszek Gniewek was fifteen, he began to work in the sawmill held by Zygmunt Schipper at the Grunwaldzka Street in Rzeszów. In 1927 he was transfeed by his employer to the newly started sawmill in Staroniwa (now in frontiers of Rzeszów). He worked there until the German troops entered Rzeszów in 1939. The sawmills of the Schipper family were taken over by Germans, but the Jewish family still worked there. From the beginning Franciszek Gniewek was on friendly terms with superior’s children: Suzan, Abraham-Bunek and Akiba-Jakub. After the displacement of Schipper family to the ghetto in Rzeszów Gniewek delivered them food. In the summer of 1942, after one of liquidation actions in the ghetto, Akiba-Jacob got Aryan documents for himself. Gniewek accompanied him on the trip to Cracow, where the young Schipper registered in the employment office as an “Aryan”. He was sent to area of Gdańsk. The letter he wrote from there to Gniewek contained request to persuade his sister and brother to follow in his footsteps and to help them with departure. Franciszek managed to get “Aryan” documents for Suzan, Abraham-Bunek and their spouses. He went with Jewish friends to Cracow but only Abraham and his wife arrived to destination. Suzan and her husband missed during the journey. After registering at the employment office in Cracow, Schippers was sent to the vicinity of Wroclaw. During this time brothers were exchanging mails through Gniewek. In 1946 the Schipper family emigrated to Canada and Gniewek moved to Wrocław. After the war he married Irena Apolonia Kwak (Feb. 7, 1923 – Dec. 13, 1986) and they had three children: Roman (born on November 19, 1950), Piotr (born on Dec. 2, 1956) and Elżbieta (born on Mar. 30, 1966).
On Apr. 12, 1994 Franciszek Gniewek was awarded the medal of the “Righteous Among the Nations”.