Zurowski Ludwik

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Story of Rescue - Zurowski Ludwik

During the occupation, Dr. Ludwik Żurowski was responsible for combating infectious diseases among the Polish and Jewish workers at Cracow factories, which made it possible for him to move freely around the city and enter the ghetto. Assisted by Tadeusz Pankiewicz, a pharmacist, he smuggled, among others, hair colourants, which greying men needed very much. The Germans seeing elderly people did not want to employ them and sent them to camps. Dr. Żurowski's wife used to prepare mixtures of fat and sugar in pharmacy bottles, which her husband took to the ghetto to nurture the sick.

Dr. Żurowski was also a doctor at one of the ammunition factories in Cracow. He managed to convince the factory manager that a rare disease, typical for the Jews, was spreading among the factory and only Jewish doctors can treat it. Being afraid of production downtime, the manager agreed to employ Dr. Biberstein, who had been Dr. Żurowski's superior before the war. Since then, they both treated the factory workers.

Dr. Żurowski also acted as an intermediary in communication between the Jews in the ghetto and those on the "Aryan side".

In March 1943, the doctor helped the Aleksandrowicz family – Professor Julian Aleksandrowicz, his wife Maria and son Jerzy – to escape from the ghetto. He installed them in the apartment of Professor Andrzej Stopka, where they were employed as servants. Dr. Żurowski was also an intermediary in communication between them and their parents in the camp in Płaszów.

He also helped a Jewish woman suffering from breast cancer to escape from the ghetto. Unfortunately, she was caught on the train. The prescriptions were found in her suitcases with Dr. Żurowski's signature. The medicine prescribed was morphine to kill the patient's pain. The Gestapo arrested the doctor  – he was interrogated and beaten but did not tell anything.

Julian Aleksandrowicz, thanks to his false documents, became an active member of the Home Army (the pseudonym "Doktor Twardy"). He described his recollections of the underground activity in the memoir entitled Kartki z dziennika doktora Twardego, dedicated, as he said, to True People. Dr. Żurowski is referred to in the memoir  as one of them. After the war, Julian Aleksandrowicz became a Professor of Hematology. He lived in Cracow with his family, keeping in touch with those who had saved him.

After the war, Dr. Szlapak worked at the Society of Conscious Motherhood and she was a honorary president of its Cracow department for many years.


  • Archiwum Yad Vashem, 2104
  • Bartoszewski Władysław, Lewinówna Zofia, Ten jest z ojczyzny mojej, Warszawa 2007
    This publication consists of 3 parts: monographic outline of the issue of aid given to the Jews; collection of German and Polish documents concerning the histories of Jews and the aid given to them; collection of the post-war reports created by Poles and Jews about the aid.
  • Gutman Israel red. nacz., Księga Sprawiedliwych wśród Narodów Świata, Ratujący Żydów podczas Holocaustu, Kraków 2009