As if Auschwitz weren’t enough


By Sara Bender

On July 1, 1946, an 8-year-old Polish boy, Henryk Blaszczyk, disappeared in the southern Polish town of Kielce. The worried parents began searching for their son and when they were unable to find him, they informed the police. Two days later, Henryk returned home. He related that he had been abducted by a Jew who put him in a cellar, and that thanks to someone who passed him a chair, he was able to escape through the window.

On the morning of July 4, 1946, the elder Blaszczyk went with his son to give testimony at the local police station. En route, an acquaintance joined them, and when the three passed a house on 7 Planty Street, the acquaintance pointed to it and told the boy to tell the police that was where he was held. When the boy was asked whether he would recognize the man who locked him up in the cellar, Henryk pointed to a short man wearing a green hat who was standing next to the house at the time.