Henry Hurwicz

Henry (November 1, 1922 – September 14, 2010) was Leo’s younger brother. Henry and his wife Lois (née Kohout) had five children: Peter, Stefan, Margo-Lea, Philip and Claude.

Henry contributed 2 hours and 42 minutes of testimony to the Shoah Foundation:

At the bottom of this page is a screen shot of Henry from that testimony, smiling his characteristic smile.

Here is Henry’s description of his journey from Georgia, Russia, via Równo to Łódź at the end of the war:

[E]ventually the war was getting to be almost over, and my father actually came back, and he was actually teaching in a teachers’ institute, and one of his students had a husband and the husband was a military doctor. So he said you know that I really would like to go back to Poland but that doctor gave me a – what do you call it? Not a passport, but a permit to go on the military train, and also there was another friend of mine – a much older friend than me. So we can get on the military train because the wounded people were brought via Kutaisi. So we went on that train but as things go, once we got to Kharkov, that train was rerouted to Moscow. So we had to get off, and I forget now how we got onto another train.

Now I was dressed just like any Russian soldier – long, you know, coat, but really long coat. The shoes were military shoes. And also the hat was really the same thing except it didn’t have the sign, you know, the – what do you call it? The emblem, but it’s the thing that you cut grass – sickle and hammer – the hammer and sickle. So we sort of went and of course the soldiers did go and check but we all looked like soldiers. So I was very busy talking to somebody else, so we ended up in Lwów, which is Lemberg – Lemberg is the German name, which is probably more familiar. And then we ended up in Równo, and this is where I handed my Soviet passport – there is my picture from my passport over there.

What they were exchanging the Russians who were in German camps going back to Russia and Poles and all kinds of people – they were exchanging them – not a formal exchange but they – So there I was, in Poland on a train, and that was not that easy train either because just before we got on the train, they announced that the Germans surrendered. And I still remember that Red Army officer, taking a gun and shooting and cutting telephone wires. And then he ran because he really didn’t try to cut the things, because he never could do that.

So here I am sitting and next to me is sitting a partisan, and he keeps telling me, “Well, now we have peace. That’s really bad because when we had war, we could go anyplace and we would be treated – you know, people didn’t have to –“ then he picks up a grenade and he says, “You know, if I pull this piece of the grenade, we’d just blow up.”

And people hear it, and then people are disappearing; they go all different places in the car. I forget now what I did. I was talking to him and telling him he really doesn’t want to do that because this and that – I got a pretty good spiel. But I don’t remember what I said, but he eventually put the grenade back. And I think we went to Łódź and there were some people we were very friendly with in Kutaisi, so I stayed with them.

Above: screen shot from Henry’s testimony for the Shoah Foundation: https://collections.ushmm.org/search/catalog/vha47655

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