11 October 1995
I hereby state the following:
During the entire occupation period I lived in Ostrowiec Świętokrzyski, my hometown, where I married Jan Izdebski, an employee of the Procurement Department at the Municipal Board. During the occupation, I met the three Szymański brothers, who came from Poznań. Two of them worked at the post office in Ostrowiec, while the third was employed in the shop owned by Antoni Burian.
The shop was located in Ostrowiec on 3 Maja Avenue. Antoni Burian had a license to sell groceries in exchange for food coupons. Every single month, one of the Szymański brothers (who worked at the post office) delivered large quantities of coupons (a few thousand) to Burian’s shop. I did not know where they came from. In Burian’s shop, these coupons were “legalized” by stamping them with a forged municipal stamp and filling in a fictitious name and address of a person entitled to receive supplies. I collected the coupons thus processed from Antoni Burian and I passed them on to my husband, who compiled distribution lists. Involved in filling in fictitious names were the following persons: Antoni Burian, Jan Izdebski (my husband), Witold Szymański, a shop employee, and also Anna Wawrzyczek and Irena Romanowska, both employed in the shop, one of the Szymański brothers, who worked at the post office and delivered the coupons, and I, the undersigned, Danuta Izdebska, called Maśka. Let me say that the coupons brought to the shop were genuine, but they were delivered illegally, unbeknown to the Procurement Department and without its clearance.
The only person in on the scheme at the Procurement office was my husband. Collecting the goods from the wholesaler was the task of Witold Szymański, a shop employee, who delivered the supplies thus obtained from the local wholesalers.
I know that large portions of food supplies ended up in the Ostrowiec ghetto, to be consumed by the Jewish population, and I also know that some portions were allotted to the Polish population, especially people who were being persecuted or in hiding. I also know that none of the persons participating in the scheme made any material or personal gain.
The food was sold at official prices to cover expenses such as the wholesaler’s bills and transportation costs. The operation lasted at least three years and was only discontinued after the liberation of Ostrowiec in 1945. Let me state that my husband and I were members of civil underground in the jurisdiction of the Home Army. As regards other participants who belonged to the Home Army, I know these were all the Szymański brothers.
My husband died on 25 April 1975 in Wrocław.
I have compiled the present statement at the request of Witold Szymański, one of the participants, who worked in Burian’s shop. Witold Szymański currently resides in the United States and I am handing over the present statement to him. The events I have described took place in Ostrowiec Świętokrzyski during World War Two, over the period from, more or less, 1941 to 1945. I confirm the veracity of this account with my signature. Executed in three duplicate originals.
Danuta Izdebska, Maśka