“There was love in Auschwitz, too.” says Jerzy Bielecki. “Death all around, yet something like this was happening to me...”
Jerzy was on the first transport to Auschwitz. His number was 234 and he was twenty years old. In the camp he met Cyla Cybulska, a Jew from Łomża whose entire family would soon perish in the gas chambers. For a time, Jerzy and Cyla shared clandestine meetings, telling each other their life stories. They fell in love. Jerzy swore to Cyla that he would free her from the camp.
On July 21, 1944, disguised as an SS man in a uniform his friend had helped him obtain, Jerzy claimed Cyla from her work post and said he was taking her in for an interrogation. They managed to walk off the camp's premises. For nine nights they wandered the area, until finally they reached Jerzy's relatives in Gruszowo. There, they parted ways, swearing to each other that they would reconnect after the war. Jerzy joined the AK and Cyla remained in hiding.
But Cyla received a false report of Jerzy's death and immigrated to the USA after the war. Miraculously, after 39 years the two found each other. When they finally met again, Jerzy brought Cyla a bouquet of 39 roses – one for each year they spent apart.