First and last names: Aniela and Feliks Chmiel
Place during the war: Pstrągowa Górna, Podkarpackie Voivodship (former Lwowskie Voivodship)
In the January night of 1943 Majer Jassem with his wife Majka and four-year-old son Stanisław knocked on the house of Feliks and Aniela Chmiel in Pstrągowa Górna. They came to ask for rescue. The Chmiels were completely surprised by the situation, as well as awared of risk related to provide shelter Jassem family. Nonetheless, they bowed to pressure from arrived persons who were afraid of death by hypothermia or German bullets. Chmiels decided to take the Jassem family under their roof. Eugeniusz Chmiel reminisced:
The father uttered the words which sound in my ears to this day: “If God himself won’t shelter you, we shall not be able to shelter you without his help”.
Poles were hiding the Jassem family in the small cellar with dimensions 3.5 x 2 m (11.5 x 6.6 ft) dug under the kitchen. From that time the Chmiel family‘s everyday life became very difficult. It was difficult to feed a five persons out from a small farm charged with agricultural quota, and then that number increased by another three persons. The Chmiel family had been living in a constant fear untill front line moved to west in the summer of 1944. At that time the Jewish family left the Chmiels’ house. Finally, the Jassem family settled in the USA.
On Feb. 9, 2010 Feliks and Aniela Chmiel were post-mortem decorated with the Commander’s Crosses of the Order of Polonia Restituta by the President of the Republic of Poland Lech Kaczyński. Their son Eugeniusz Chmiel received the crosses in Rzeszów from the hands of Maria Kaczyńska, the wife of the President of the Republic of Poland.