Karolina Sapeta

Poland

Karolina Sapeta worked as a live-in domestic for the Hochhauser family in Kraków and served as nanny for their children, whom she gave warm and devoted care.

When the Germans occupied Poland and the Jews of Krakow were put in a ghetto, Sapeta came to the family’s aid and illegally provided them with food and clothing. In March 1943, when the Kraków ghetto experienced its final Aktion, Sapeta decided to at least rescue the Hochheisers’ children. She removed ten-year-old Samuel (subsequently Stanislaw Sapeta) and his nine-year-old sister Sara (subsequently Barbara Zytowska) and took them to her parents’ home in Witanowice (Wadowice county, Kraków district). The Jewish children were hidden in farm buildings and Sapeta visited them weekly and used her meager earnings to meet their needs.

In 1944, shortly before the liberation, villagers discovered the two Jewish children and intended to murder them. Sapeta protected them tenaciously, removed them from the clutches of their would-be killers, and placed them in hiding elsewhere. After the war, when it transpired that their parents had perished, Sapeta took them into her home in Kraków and raised them as her children. Sapeta spent the rest of her days with Sara-Barbara néeHochheiser and treated her children as if they were her grandchildren.

On January 11, 1995, Yad Vashem recognized Karolina Sapeta as Righteous Among the Nations.