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Henryk Lubelski

Dabrowa Gornicza, Poland

Henryk was raised in a religious Jewish family. His father was a cantor, and his parents placed an emphasis on education. In 1916 the Lubelskis moved to Rawicz, a town in German-occupied Poland. Henryk was first in his class in secondary school, where he also excelled in wrestling and soccer. After graduating, Henryk became an apprentice in a business.

1933-39: In 1935 my father secured a good position in the city of Katowice. There, I worked in the sausage business. Since Katowice was close to the German border, many there spoke German fluently. When the war broke out in September 1939, I fled east towards the USSR, but I turned back when I realized that I didn't know if conditions there would be any better than they were in Poland. My route back took me through many small Polish towns.

1940-44: I was in Kolomjya when the Germans set up a ghetto there. In 1942 I was deported by train with hundreds of others. En route I decided to escape, but before I jumped from the train, a family begged me to go to Budapest to find their daughter, Erzebeth, to tell her goodbye for them. I jumped, and escaped. In 1944 I joined Czechoslovak partisans in rebellion against the Germans. In the Carpathian Mountains we sabotaged the Germans by supplying Soviet troops with information about German artillery positions.

After the war, Henryk traveled to Budapest to keep his promise to look for Erzebeth. Henryk and Erzebeth married, and in 1951 they emigrated to the United States.

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