Henry Maslowicz

Henry Maslowicz

Born: December 25, 1940

Wierzbnik-Starachowice, Poland

Henry's Jewish parents lived in a Polish town in which their families had lived for 150 years. The Jewish community enjoyed good relations with their Polish neighbors; the local Polish population refused to cooperate when the government encouraged a boycott of Jewish businesses during a wave of antisemitism that swept Poland in the mid-1930s.

1933-39: In the years before Henry was born, his father owned an iron and coal factory. The Germans occupied Wierzbnik on September 5, 1939. While some Jews fled, most, including Henry's parents, remained.

1940-44: The Nazis established a ghetto in May 1940. Henry was born there eight months later. In 1942 his father, learning the ghetto was to be emptied, arranged for him to be hidden in a Catholic convent in Cracow. Perhaps because the convent was bombed, Henry was put out on the street--he was 3. A woman picked him up and took him to an attic above a candy store. It was dark and Henry was alone. The only person he ever saw was this woman who fed him and taught him to make the sign of the cross. Henry didn't know his own name or why he was in an attic.

Henry was discovered by a Jewish social worker and taken to Israel. He was reunited with his father eight years later, and settled in Ecuador. In 1980 he moved to the United States.

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