Borysowicz Jerzy

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Story of Rescue - Borysowicz Jerzy

Jerzy Borysowicz was born in an estate Antopol (in the Vitebsk region, now in Belarus). He was a son of Franciszek and Rozalia née Jermołowicz. He had two older brothers – Piotr, a lieutenant of the Polish Army who was murdered in Katyń, and Antoni, a Catholic priest. Rozalia died when Jerzy was 3 years old.

In 1918, 14-year-old Jerzy read in a newspaper that, if necessary, General Dowbór-Muśnicki, who was organising an army out of Poles incorporated into the Russian army, is ready to appoint even sixteen-years-olds to the army. This news became a reason for Jerzy to escape from home. After years he recalled: “I wrote a letter to my father to apologise that I left home without saying goodbye, but I did not mention I was going to join the army. I left my so-called passport along with the letter. It was an equivalent of today’s identity card. I left it so that my father could in case explain that his son, born in 1904, had not left home in order to avoid incorporation to the Soviet army. I only took my scout certificate as a document of identity with a date of birth forged by me from 28 April 28 1904 to 28 April 1903”.

After two days of wading in deep snow, he met Polish soldiers who escorted him to the commander of the 6th company of the 2nd battalion of the 30th “Kaniowskich” Rifle Regiment. “I showed them my fake scout certificate and I tried as much as I could to justify my Polishness and need to defend the homeland”. In this way, Jerzy became a soldier of the 30th “Kaniowskich” Rifle Regiment in which he served until December 1920.  He was appointed a senior shooter and awarded the “Polska swemu Obrońcy” medal.

After the army was demobilised, Jerzy Borysowicz settled down in a monastery of Capuchins in Cracow, where there was also his brother, Father Antoni. Jerzy was preparing there for his exams. In 1923, he obtained a certificate of maturity at a secondary school in Ostróg upon Horyń and began his medical studies at the Faculty of Medicine of the Stephen Bathory University from which he graduated in 1929. On 20 June 1929, he obtained a title of a doctor of medical sciences at the Stephen Bathory University in Vilnius.

In Vilnius, Dr Borysowicz met also his future wife, Augustyna Bielaczyc. They married in 1935. Even before the wedding, in August 1934, Jerzy bought a hous in Vilnius on Bobrujska Street 17 (today P. Vyšinskio 23), where he wanted to open a neurological clinic.

Dr Stanisław Karol Władyczko, head of the Department of Neurology in Vilnius, appointed him his assistant. Between 1934 and 1939, Jerzy Borysowicz worked in the Department of Neurological and Mental Diseases of the Stephen Bathory University as an assistant and adjunct of Professor Dr Maksymilian Rose. In 1935, he was appointed to the committee leading a research on the brain of the Polish Marshal Józef Piłsudski.

 In 1939, after the outbreak of the war, Dr Borysowicz came with his wife and two sons to Radom. He started to work in a former Shelter for the Mentally Ill. He was a head of this informal psychiatric hospital in which he used all the available medicines and treatments. Since the building was not suitable for any other purpose, Germans spared its patients and staff. The hospital helped Jews, among others Mordechaj Anielewicz — a commander of the Jewish Combat Organization. Besides, Dr. Borysowicz took care of the sick at the Jewish Hospital of Infectious Diseases in the Radom Ghetto. The hospital was located on Warzawska Street.

After years, the help provided by Dr Borysowicz was testified among others by Dr Dawid Wajnapel with whom Dr Borysowicz worked. Dr Anna Gecow, who at that time also worked in the hospital, wrote in her statement: “I met Dr Jerzy Borysowicz during my work (December 1941-August 1942) in the hospital of infectious diseases of the Radom Ghetto. [...] I was an assistant of Dr Dawid Wajnapel who greatly valued not only knowledge of Dr Borysowicz, but also his disinterested and brave help for Jews. Dr Borysowicz was asked to consult at the hospital in particularly severe complications of the nervous system in patients with typhus. These consultations were carried out in [...] precautious manner and very discreetly. I do not remember that there would be other witnesses apart from me”.

According to a statement by Dr Wajnapel, Dr Borysowicz helped to hide his 6-month-old niece on the “Aryan side” – helped to get her out of the ghetto and placed he with a Polish family. Unfortunately, the girl did not survive the war.

In 1945, with efforts of Dr Jerzy Borysowicz, the authorities of the city of Radom which was seized by the Red Army agreed to transform the shelter into the Department of Psychiatry of the St. Casimir Municipal Hospital. In 1955, Dr Borysowicz organised in the Municipal Hospital the first Department of Neurology in the Kielce province the head of which he was until 1967. Then he came to work in the Clinic of Neurology in Radom where he treated patients until the end of his life.

Dr Jerzy Borysowicz was award, among other things, the “Polska swemu Obrońcy” medal, the Order of Polonia Restituta, the Medal of the 10th Anniversary of People's Poland, the Badge for Exemplary work in the Health Service. In 1984, he was posthumously awarded the title of Righteous Among the Nations.

Bibliography

  • Borysowicz Bożena, Dr med. Jerzy Borysowicz: jeden z lekarzy wileńskich. 1904–1980, „Nasz Czas”, nr 35 (624)
  • Borzym Barbara, Wspomnienie pośmiertne: dr Jerzy Borysowicz (1903-1980), Warszawa 1981
  • Grynberg Michał, Księga Sprawiedliwych, Warszawa 1993

    The lexicon includes the stories of Poles honoured with the title of Righteous Among the Nations in the years 1963-1989. The list of entries is preceded by a preface by Icchak Arad and Chaim CheferThe Righteous of the World.

  • Archiwum Żydowskiego Instytutu Historycznego, 349, 24, 328