Helenka Groner

This is a picture of Helenka Groner taken in Cracow shortly after the war in 1945.

She was my friend, we were very close. Helenka was a lot older than me; she was already married then. She had a son my age; he died in Plaszow. Her husband had died in Plaszow too. She was with me from Auschwitz onwards. We lived somewhere near each other, then in the death march we walked together, and we stayed together until the end.

I came back to Cracow with Helenka Groner. Except that she had a sister and somewhere to go. That sister of hers married a Mr. Lubelski and her parents sat shivah because Lubelski wasn't a Jew. She fell in love and married him. He had saved her, that Lubelski, but nobody knew - that's what she thought - that she was a Jew. She was mad when Helenka came back; she didn't want to take her in, so that it wouldn't come out. She was terribly afraid of that. Helenka's parents, before the war, had had the Polonia hotel in Cracow, and her husband a large store selling lace on Szpitalna Street. She even showed me where. Later Helenka met some Czech guy, a Jew too, and married him. She did really well for herself, she lived in Ostrava, had a restaurant there. I don't remember what her married name after that second husband was. In any case for me she was Groner. She died two years ago.