Stanisław Aronson vel Rysiek

He was born in Warsaw in May 1925. Until the outbreak of World War II, he lived with his family in Łódź. As he says, he “grew up in a Polish atmosphere” and feels being a Pole of the Jewish faith. His father was a merchant and industrialist in the textile industry, and his uncle, as the vice-president of the Polish-Palestinian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, represented the largest Polish companies in Palestine.

At the outbreak of the war, he was 14 years old and moved with his parents to the Eastern Borderlands (Kresy Wschodnie). They spent the first year of the war in Lviv, where he attended a Polish grammar school. After the Germans entered the city, his family went to the Warsaw ghetto, which they thought was a safer place than the camps in the East. A year later, Stanisław escaped from a train that was taking people to the death camp in Treblinka. On the first night he hid in a chapel, then a farmer from a nearby village helped him. He decided to return to Warsaw. There, friends obtained Polish documents for him and he joined the Polish Home Army. In the beginning, he acted in a small sabotage. Then he went to the famous Kedyw, where he was responsible for the enforcement of the sentences of the Polish Resistance court. He decided to join the Polish Resistance movement without hesitation, as he always considered Poland to be his homeland. He fought in the Warsaw Uprising, in which he was badly wounded. After the defeat of the Uprising, he joined the anti-communist underground organisation “Nie” (No).

After the war, he decided to leave Poland. In 1945, he went to Palestine with a group of Zionists. On the way he stopped in Italy and joined the General Anders’ Polish II Corps. At the same time, he began medical studies in Bologna. When, after two years of his service, the Corps was dissolved, he went to the Middle East, where he served for several months in Polish units associated with Anders’ Army. In 1947, he was officially discharged from the military and began studying biology at the University of Jerusalem. In 1948, he fought for the independence of Israel. He took part in the Yom Kippur War in 1973, and the Lebanon War in 1982. He was promoted to the rank of lieutenant colonel. Having ended his military career, he went into business.

He could not come to Poland for a long time as he was refused a visa. He returned to his home country for the first time in 1988 – on the anniversary of the Warsaw Uprising. Two years later, he regained Polish citizenship. Together with his friends from Kedyw, he founded a plaque commemorating the first day of the Uprising, when, together with his Kedyw unit, he managed to free a group of fifty Hungarian Jews imprisoned in the school building at 4, Stawki Street. In the very same place, Stanisław Aronson got on the train taking him to the extermination camp, and it was there where he saw his family for the last time. As he said, his intention was that “Jews who come to the Umschlagplatz would know that the Polish insurgents saved Jewish prisoners. And that there was the Warsaw Uprising at all. ”

He was repeatedly awarded for his military merits, both by Poland and Israel. In 2013, he was awarded the Commander’s Cross with the Star of the Order of Polonia Restituta. He lives in Tel Aviv and is still involved in the Polish public debate. He reads Polish newspapers every day and speaks on important issues relating to the past and current events in Poland. Based on his life, a book “Rysiek from Kedyw. The extraordinary story of Stanisław Aronson” was written. In turn, 2019 saw the publishing of his original work, “War will come tomorrow”, where he warns against manipulating history and strengthening divisions, and at the same time expresses his belief that what connects people is the most important thing.