Josef Augustyniak and his wife Veronika, nee Nowak, were farmers in the Polish village of Borki in Konin county. In September of 1941, the two of them helped the Soviet prisoner-of-war Fyodor Asarov, who had escaped from a German camp. They gave him shelter and food. The 26-year-old Asarov was picked up by a German police patrol near the Augustyniaks' farm in November of 1941, after a denunciation. The police then arrested several Polish citizens, including Josef Augustyniak, on November 25, 1941. His wife Veronika was not arrested until February 21. 1942.
On May 28, 1942, Josef and Veronika Augustyniak were sentenced to death by the “People’s Court” for “aiding the enemy.” Their clemency petitions were rejected by the undersecretary of state in the Reich Ministry of Justice, Roland Freisler. The senior Reich prosecutor was requested to arrange their execution at “great speed.” Josef and Veronika Augustyniak were beheaded in Plötzensee prison at dawn on August 15, 1942. They were survived by their nine-year-old daughter.