"A Time to Heal" (Ecclesiastes 3:3)
The Story of the Children's Home in Otwock, Poland

Janek, Irka and Danek Młotek

The Młotek siblings – Janek (Yaakov Ben Shalom, 1930-1999), Irka (Nurit Fein, b.1932), and Danek (David Ben Shalom, b.1934) – lived in Otwock with their parents: Shalom, an apple merchant, and Leah. Their house was included in the area of the ghetto that was established in the city, and other people were brought to live with them. On July 1942, the Młoteks escaped the ghetto and hid in the fields.

Due to the connections Shalom had made through his business dealings, he was able to arrange for family members to be hidden in different Polish villages. The three siblings began to wander between the villages, at times together and at times by themselves. Once Janek and Danek hid in a barn, unaware that Irka was sleeping in the barn next to them. Danek was wounded in his leg and screamed out in pain during the night. Irka recognized the voice and thus realized her brother was close by. Shalom and Leah Młotek did not survive the Holocaust.

After liberation Irka brought her brothers Janek and Danek to the children’s home in Otwock, where they stayed for approximately a year and a half.

The three siblings immigrated to Israel in 1948 and established families.

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