Czuruk Boleslaw

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Story of Rescue - Czuruk Boleslaw

Josef Eyntov was a Jew living in Przemyśl, who sympathized with the Zionist movement. In 1938, after graduating from a building school, he applied for studying abroad in Palestine. However, just as he took care of all the paperwork, the Second World War broke out and the city fell under the Soviet occupation. Within half a year after the Germans took up the city in June 1941, he and his family – his parents and two brothers – were deported to the ghetto. During the next deportation actions, the Jews hid in various hiding places prepared beforehand. At the time of the last liquidation action, Josef with a group of other young people made it through the corridor leading from an underground bunker to a sewer manhole. He spent a few weeks hiding underground. Initially, the fugitives gained help from the Jews who were ordered by the Germans to stay in the ghetto for cleaning works.

Josef Eyntov had been able to save some money beforehand, so eventually he took the risk of returning to the surface. First, he contacted his friends hiding in Lviv, and then he safely arrived in the city. In Lviv, he became a protégé of Bolesław Czuruk, a professor of Slavic studies at the Jan Kazimierz University, who at that time helped a lot of Jews. Through the agency of Czuruk, Josef obtained false documents. He then rented a room in the apartment belonging to an old widow and passed as a Pole named Stanisław Ciechanowski.

At daytime, he would go into the downtown so as not to arouse the widow’s suspicions. He visited the professor at his translation office, where he met other Jews who were in the same difficult situation as he; he spent much of his time in the cinema watching German propaganda movies; at the post office he wrote letters that he never intended to post. When the city was liberated, he joined the Home Army. In spring 1945, he departed for Cracow and later for Rzeszów. There, he witnessed the massacre of Jews that took place in the days of 11–12 June 1945. Soon after, he traveled to Italy by means of illegal transport, and then he left for Palestine. He settled permanently in Haifa.

In 1947, professor Czuruk was arrested by the communist security service and consigned to the jail situated on Rakowiecka Street in Warsaw. His stay in prison seriously aggravated his health. Professor Czuruk died in 1950.

Years later, Josef Eyntov made contact with Czuruk’s daughter named Zofia. He applied to Yad Vashem for a posthumous award for professor Czuruk, who during World War II helped several dozens of Jews by organizing hiding places, procuring false documents and collecting money for their needs. Today, 90-year-old Josef is perhaps the only living witness to professor Czuruk’s heroic aid he offered to Jews living in Lviv during the war.

Bibliography

  • Maciej Czarnecki, Prof. Bolesław Czuruk Sprawiedliwym Wśród Narodów Świata, Gazeta Wyborcza Toruń
  • Eyntov Josef, Wspomnienia stamtąd i stąd, Hajfa 2007
  • Eyntov Josef, Poczta – odpowiedź Josefa Eyntova, Kwartalnik historyczny „Karta”, nr 55
  • Zofia Stopa, Łukasz Kamiński, Interview with Josef Entenberg, 1.01.2010