Jerzy Cyns, born in 1938
Auschwitz: prisoner number B14444, age six
I was born in Kraków, the son of Sabina, née Goldstein, and Julian Cyns. My father was an office employee in the firm Hartwig. Mother was a housewife. In March 1941, we, as well as our relatives, were closed up in the ghetto in Kraków. Until March 1943, during the deportations, I was hidden in various places. Little remains in my memory other than stacks of dirty laundry, under which my older brother, Henryk, a girl cousin (currently living in Israel), and I sat for many hours when they were conducting “selections.” On the thirteenth of March, 1943, during the liquidation of the Kraków Ghetto, I was transported with my parents and my older brother to the concentration camp in Płaszów.
In 1944, I was transferred with my father to the Gross-Rosen Camp. On the fifth of November of that year, I was transported from there, alone, without my father, to the camp in Oświęcim-Brzezinka (Auschwitz- Birkenau), where I was tattooed with the number B-14444.
In January 1945, liberation came, and, along with other children, I returned to my home area to the care of the Jewish Committee on Długa Street in Kraków. My uncle, Zygmunt Goldstein, soon appeared there and took me to my aunt, Sabina Kinreich, who was the first to return to Kraków from a camp. Soon after, my father, returning from the Mauthausen- Ebensee Camp, arrived at her place, and after that, Mother also came.
In 1947, the whole family went on vacation to Rabka. On August 9, a tragedy took place in the house in which we stayed. My mother, Sabina Cyns, and Zygmunt Goldstein and his wife were shot by people identifying themselves as members of the unit Ogień. My father and I survived, hidden under a bed. Father passed away in 1975.
Ogień – this right-wing nationalistic extremist group was named for its leader, whose pseudonym was Ogień (Flame).
After completing elementary school, as well as a School of Basic Construction and Metalworking, I began work in an Invalids’ Chemical Cooperative. I continued this work for thirty years as a manual worker under conditions harmful to health.
In 1968, I married Danuta Stawowa, and we are together to this day, already a quarter of a century, living harmoniously, respecting each other, and always having something to say to each other. We like traveling, excursions into the mountains, and we have many friends. We are both on early retirement.