The Info List - Henryk Iwański

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Henryk Iwański
Henryk Iwański
(1902-1978), nom de guerre Bystry, was a member of the Polish resistance during World War II. He is known for leading one of the most daring actions of the Armia Krajowa
Armia Krajowa
(Home Army) in support of the Warsaw
Ghetto Uprising. For his assistance to the Polish Jews Iwański was bestowed the title of the Righteous Among the Nations
Righteous Among the Nations
by Yad Vashem
Yad Vashem
in Jerusalem in 1964.[1]


1 Life 2 See also 3 Notes 4 References 5 Further reading

Life[edit] Before the Second World War
Second World War
Henryk had reached the rank of captain in the Polish Army. Soon after Nazi Germany invaded Poland and began the Holocaust, Henryk was instrumental in the founding of the Żydowski Związek Wojskowy (Jewish Military Union).[2] Together with the rest of his family he dedicated himself to support the Jews, working through the Polish resistance (Armia Krajowa). Iwański was one of the AK members dealing with the Jews, providing them with arms, ammunition, and instructional materials smuggled through the sewers or in carts that brought lime and cement into the ghetto. From the very first days of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising
Warsaw Ghetto Uprising
the AK maintained contact with the Jewish fighters and tried to support them by providing supplies and launching supportive strikes against the Germans. Some of AK soldiers volunteered to join the fighters in the ghetto from the very first day of the uprising.[3] When one of the commanders of the Jewish units, Dawid Moryc Apfelbaum, sent a message to the AK informing the Poles that he had been wounded, and asking for arms and ammunition, Iwański took an AK unit (belonging to the Państwowy Korpus Bezpieczeństwa, the Security Corps) through a tunnel into the Ghetto to directly support the Jewish fighters. Among the 18 members of the unit were his brother, Wacław and Henryk's son, Roman. They entered the ghetto on April 27, 1943, bringing ammunition and other supplies and on the spot they decided to relieve some of the exhausted fighters, engaging the Germans together with the remaining members of the ŻZW on the Muranowski Square. In the fight Wacław was killed; Henryk and his son Roman were seriously wounded, Roman fatally. Moshe Arens, who has written extensively on the revolt, described the fighting: "…heavy casualties were sustained by the ZZW, losing many of its leading fighters. Apfelbaum and Rodal were mortally wounded in fighting that raged on April 27 and 28. Iwanski's brother, Edvard, fell in Muranowska Square, his son, Roman was mortally wounded, and Iwanski himself was wounded during those days."[4] Zbigniew, another son of Henryk fought on Karmelicka Street and died on May 3, 1943, escorting a group of Jews out of the ghetto. After being wounded, Iwański was brought from the ghetto, escorted by a group of Polish and Jewish fighters, among them Ber Mark, who later wrote a book about the Uprising. Nonetheless, Iwański returned to the ghetto at least once more, bringing another set of ammunition and supplies.[5][6][7] This was one of several actions of the Polish resistance providing assistance to the Jews in the ghetto.[6]

Monument to the Ghetto Heroes
Monument to the Ghetto Heroes
in Warsaw

In 1963, for his actions Iwański was awarded the Silver Cross of Virtuti Militari, one of Poland's highest military decorations for valor. Soon later, in 1964, with his wife Wiktoria he was decorated with the medal of Righteous Among the Nations
Righteous Among the Nations
(awarded only, if there are or were, at the time of the award, Jewish witnesses who survived). Recent questions concerning inconsistencies regarding the nature and extent of Iwanski's support for the Jewish underground have been raised. Examinations of Israeli and Polish archives have brought allegations that Iwanski exaggerated his war time activities, had made anti-Semitic and anti-Israeli radio and television broadcasts, and as an informant of Polish secret police had spied on Nazi hunter Simon Wiesenthal as an informant against the Jewish Historical Institute .[8][9] The Polish-Israeli authors of a 2011 book on the Jewish Military Union (ŻZW) suggest that Iwański's story of heroism in the ghetto revolt is a fabrication and that he did not even have any male children. They point out that Iwański succeeded in convincing visiting journalists from abroad, most notably Chaja Lazar and Dan Kurzman, of the veracity of his story which is one of the reasons it gained credence and tremendous popularity.[10][11]

See also[edit]

Henryk Woliński List of Poles


^ Henryk Iwański
Henryk Iwański
– his activity to save Jews' lives during the Holocaust, at Yad Vashem
Yad Vashem
website ^ "Artykul-Polskie Niezalezne Media". Zaprasza.net. Retrieved 2011-09-27.  ^ https://web.archive.org/web/20110709055222/http://www.thehistorynet.com/wwii/blgenocide/index2.html ^ Moshe Arens, "The Changing Face of Memory—Who defended the Warsaw Ghetto?" "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2006-05-26. Retrieved 2006-05-09.  ^ [1] Archived September 11, 2006, at the Wayback Machine. ^ a b "Korbonski - Jews Under Occupation". Ucis.pitt.edu. Archived from the original on 2011-09-27. Retrieved 2011-09-27.  ^ Nechama Tec (22 October 1987). When Light Pierced the Darkness: Christian Rescue of Jews in Nazi-Occupied Poland. Oxford University Press. p. 124. ISBN 978-0-19-505194-0. Retrieved 27 September 2011.  ^ Dariusz Libionka and Laurence Weinbaum. Deconstructing Memory and History: The Jewish Military Union
Jewish Military Union
(ZZW) and the Warsaw
Ghetto Uprising. Jewish Political Studies Review 18:1-2 (Spring 2006). ^ Yitzhak Zuckerman. A Surplus of Memory: Chronicle of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising. University of California Press, 1993, pp. 410-12; 415. ^ Dariusz Libionka & Laurence Weinbaum - Bohaterowie, hochsztaplerzy, opisywacze Wokół Żydowskiego Związku Wojskowego (Warsaw: Stowarzyszenie Centrum Badań nad Zagładą Żydów, 2011) ^ "A Legendary Commander". 22 June 2007 – via Haaretz. 


The International Raoul Wallenberg Foundation The Polish Underground State: A Guide to the Underground, 1939-1945" Stefan Korbonski, pages 120-139

Further reading[edit]

See the list in The Bravest Battle: The Twenty-Eight Days of the Warsaw
Ghetto Uprising, Google Print, p.352

v t e

The Holocaust
in Poland

Main article The Holocaust Related articles by country Belarus Belgium Croatia Denmark Estonia France Latvia Lithuania Norway Russia Ukraine

v t e

Camps, ghettos and operations



Auschwitz-Birkenau Chełmno Majdanek Operation Reinhard
Operation Reinhard
death camps

Bełżec Sobibór Treblinka


Kraków-Płaszów Potulice Soldau Stutthof Szebnie Trawniki Warsaw

Mass shootings

AB Action Bronna Góra Erntefest Jedwabne Kielce cemetery Aktion Krakau Lviv pogroms Lwów professors Palmiry Sonderaktion Krakau Tannenberg Tykocin Bydgoszcz Wąsosz Bloody Sunday


List of 277 Jewish ghettos in German-occupied Poland
Jewish ghettos in German-occupied Poland
(1939–1942) Będzin Białystok Brest Częstochowa Grodno Kielce Kraków Lwów Łódź Lubartów Lublin Międzyrzec Podlaski Mizocz Nowy Sącz Pińsk Radom Siedlce Sambor Słonim Sosnowiec Stanisławów Tarnopol Wilno Warsaw

Other atrocities

Action T4 Grossaktion Warsaw Human medical experimentation

v t e

Perpetrators, participants, organizations, and collaborators

Major perpetrators


Josef Bühler Eichmann Eicke Ludwig Fischer Hans Frank Globocnik Glücks Greiser Himmler Hermann Höfle Fritz Katzmann Wilhelm Koppe Friedrich-Wilhelm Krüger Kutschera Erwin Lambert Ernst Lerch Oswald Pohl Reinefarth Scherner Seyss-Inquart Sporrenberg Streckenbach Thomalla Otto Wächter Wisliceny

Camp command

Aumeier Baer Boger Braunsteiner Eberl Eupen Kurt Franz Karl Frenzel Karl Fritzsch Göth Grabner Hartjenstein Hering Höss Hössler Josef Kramer Liebehenschel Mandel Matthes Michel Möckel Mulka Johann Niemann Oberhauser Reichleitner Heinrich Schwarz Stangl Gustav Wagner Christian Wirth

Gas chamber executioners

Erich Bauer Bolender Hackenholt Klehr Hans Koch Herbert Lange Theuer


von Bodmann Clauberg Gebhardt Fritz Klein Mengele Horst Schumann Trzebinski Eduard Wirths

Ghetto command

Auerswald Biebow Blösche Bürkl Konrad Palfinger von Sammern-Frankenegg Stroop


Wolfgang Birkner Blobel Felix Landau Schaper Schöngarth von Woyrsch


Camp guards

Juana Bormann Danz Demjanjuk Margot Dreschel Kurt Gerstein Grese Höcker Kaduk Kollmer Muhsfeldt Orlowski Volkenrath

By camp

Sobibór Treblinka


(SS) Ordnungspolizei
(Orpo battalions) WVHA RKFDV VoMi General Government Hotel Polski



Belarusian Auxiliary Police BKA battalions Brigade Siegling Black Cats Central Rada


Jewish Ghetto Police Żagiew ("Torch Guard") Group 13 Kapos Judenräte


Waffen-SS "RONA" Waffen-SS "Russland" Ostlegionen, Bataillone (Cossack Division, Russian "ROA")


Ukrainian Auxiliary Police SS Galizien Ukrainian Liberation Army Schutzmannschaft
(Battalion 118, Brigade Siegling, 30. Waffen SS Grenadier Division) Trawnikimänner

Other nationalities

Estonian Auxiliary Police Latvian Auxiliary Police
Latvian Auxiliary Police
(Arajs Kommando) Lithuanian Auxiliary Police Battalions
Lithuanian Auxiliary Police Battalions
(Schutzmannschaft, Ypatingasis būrys) Pieter Menten
Pieter Menten
(Nederlandsche SS)

v t e

Resistance: Judenrat, victims, documentation and technical




Ghetto uprisings Białystok Częstochowa Sobibór Treblinka Warsaw
Ghetto Uprising


Mordechai Anielewicz Icchak Cukierman Mordechai Tenenbaum Marek Edelman Leon Feldhendler Paweł Frenkiel Henryk Iwański Itzhak Katzenelson Michał Klepfisz Miles Lerman Alexander Pechersky Witold Pilecki Frumka Płotnicka Roza Robota Szmul Zygielbojm


Jewish Ghetto Police Adam Czerniaków Mordechai Chaim Rumkowski

Victim lists


Kraków Łódź Lvov (Lwów) Warsaw


Auschwitz Bełżec Gross-Rosen Izbica Majdanek Sobibór Soldau Stutthof Trawniki Treblinka


Nazi sources

Auschwitz Album Frank Memorandum Höcker Album Höfle Telegram Katzmann Report Korherr Report Nisko Plan Posen speeches Special
Prosecution Book-Poland Stroop Report Wannsee Conference

Witness accounts

Graebe affidavit Gerstein Report Vrba–Wetzler report Witold's Report Sonderkommando photographs


Sonderaktion 1005

Technical and logistics

Identification in camps Gas chamber Gas van Holocaust
train Human medical experimentation Zyklon B

v t e

Aftermath, trials and commemoration


survivors Polish population transfers (1944–1946) Bricha Kielce pogrom Anti-Jewish violence, 1944–46 Ministry of Public Security


West German trials

Frankfurt Auschwitz trials Treblinka trials

Polish, East German, and Soviet trials

Auschwitz trial
Auschwitz trial
(Poland) Stutthof trials Extraordinary (Soviet) State Commission


Museum of the History of Polish Jews Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial and Museum Majdanek State Museum Sobibór Museum International Youth Meeting Center in Oświęcim/Auschwitz March of the Living

Righteous Among the Nations

Polish Righteous Among the Nations Rescue of Jews by Poles during the Holocaust Garde