Kuron Henryk

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Story of Rescue - Kuron Henryk

Henryk Kuroń was a pre-war journalist and activist of the Polish Socialist Party PPS, involved in underground activities in Lviv during the war. There he got to know Sabina Rapp, a musicologist employed as a factory worker in the Lampen fabrik on Żulińskiego Street where Henryk Kuroń was a technical supervisor. Together with other Jewish workers, she would leave the ghetto to go to work. Every day, they were all subjected to the most cruel persecution by the guards.

“To my mind, the hardest thing to bear was [...] the everyday selection among those leaving for work”, recounted Henryk Kuroń. “Accompanied by military music, groups of workers left the ghetto, supervised by a group of SS officers with whips, who would drag out individuals from the row, beat them and take them to their death. Another practice, equally cruel, was the reduction of the number of badges with the letter H or W on them. The badges were an authorisation to take up work, and thus allowed a person to stay alive for sometime [...] The practice would drive people to extremes. People would go mad, commit suicide, it was an unspeakable nightmare”. In the ghetto Sabina contracted typhoid fever. Henryk with his friends carried her out of the ghetto. He then provided her with the documents of his late sister-in-law, Ms Rudeńska, and found a place for her at the Zamarstynów isolation hospital. After the Lviv Ghetto was liquidated in January 1943, a Judenlager was set up for the surviving Jews, the so-called legal Jews. Sabina Rapp was one of them. She worked for a construction company, crushing bricks. As the lager’s operations were coming to their end, Henryk found shelter for Sabina. After the war, Sabina wrote a letter to Henryk: “I recall you, dearest Julek, with the greatest affection and gratitude. I realise that without your help I would long be dead. You were my good angel who would always turn up in moments of hardship, and I will never forget what you did for me”.