Auschwitz inmate who saved Jewish girlfriend dies

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A Polish inmate of Auschwitz who helped his Jewish girlfriend to escape the death camp has died.

Jerzy Bielecki, who was named a Righteous Among the Nations for saving Cyla Cybulska, died on Oct. 20 at his home in southern Poland at the age of 90, according to reports.

Bielecki, who met Cybulska in Auschwitz, spirited her out of the death camp by acquiring an SS uniform and pretending to take her from the camp to be interrogated.

The couple hid for a week, traveling on foot at night until they reached an uncle of Bielecki. He returned to Krakow and worked for the Polish Underground, and she hid on a Polish farm. After the war each one thought the other had died.

They were reunited in 1983 after Cybulska’s Polish cleaning woman heard her employer’s story and recalled hearing the same story in a television interview in Poland. Both had married and had children.

Cybulska died in 2005. She and Bielecki saw each other about 15 times before she died. — jta