Born: Ulanow, Poland
January 17, 1920
Herschel was the oldest of four children born to a Jewish family in the Polish town of Ulanow. His father was a landowner and cattle merchant who transported calves from the Ulanow area for sale in other towns. Herschel attended a religious school from the age of 3, and started public school at age 7.
1933-39: Since Herschel was skilled with his hands, his father got him a job weaving reed baskets after he graduated from high school. Herschel was also a member of a Jewish youth organization, Benei Akiva, that arranged lectures and social events. On September 1, 1939, Germany invaded Poland. When the Germans arrived they ordered every home in Ulanow to supply male laborers for the army, and Herschel was put to work.
1940-42: In May 1941 the Germans deported Herschel to Janow Lubelski, a labor camp 20 miles from Ulanow. There was no work for the prisoners, so the guards kept them busy digging ditches. Herschel's sister, Sabina, came to the camp every few days to smuggle food to her brother, since the prisoners were not fed very often. At night, when the guards could not see her, she passed bread and fruit through the wire fence. Two months later, Sabina was able to bribe a German official in the camp and gain her brother's release.
On October 4, 1942, Herschel escaped a roundup in Ulanow and ran to Krzeszow. A week later, the Germans surrounded the town, and its inhabitants, including Herschel, were killed.