However, Bina, who had been a student at the University of Krakow, feared being recognized.
Instead of risking the lives of the people who took her in, Bina left their farm to join the underground Polish resistance. The Ziolos raised Joe as their own for three years, risking their lives every day. “It is a debt that can never be repaid,” says Joe.
One of Joe’s earliest memories is watching Petronolo Ziolo milk the cows. “I’d sit there and she [Petronolo] would sometimes send a stream of milk into my face. I still kind of remember the warm, sweet milk right out of the cow. And after I licked as much as I could, the cat came over and licked the rest.”
When the war was over, Joe reunited with his parents in Germany. The family immigrated to the United States in 1948 and to Toronto in 1958, where Joe has lived since.