By Morris Rudnicki


Among the active people of the United Pruziner and Vicinity Relief Committee in New York and Philadelphia is the striking personality of Harold MORROW, who won his renown as a result of his good deeds for the benefit of his fellow-men. Committee members marked his wonderful work for our townsfolk at a special party held in New York on May 24, 1981 and awarded him a bronze, memorial plaque. On that occasion, memories were recalled and evaluations of his character, which are referred to in brief here.

At his parents' home, at the "Yavneh" school and the Zionist youth associations, Harold completely absorbed the moral principles of aid to his fellow men. He developed the enlightened characteristics of love of people, loyalty, patience, good natured ness, keenness and love of the Jewish people and its homeland. His distinguished qualities helped him in the Holocaust years to aid his friends and acquaintances, as has been related by his friends who were in the Pruzana ghetto, at Auschwitz and in the camps in Germany. Thus a picture was built up of a man, who redeemed and rescued, who knew how to advise himself and others in hours of mortal danger, encouraged and influenced those being taken to death not to lose hope and continue to overcome all the terrible things that befell them.


Inter alia, reference was made to the Ghetto period, when the Germans confiscated the radios of the Jews and declared that the death penalty would be imposed on anyone listening to news and disseminating it. Harold got himself a wireless and despite the great risk to himself, he hid it in the spiral staircase of the former "Tarbut" high school building. At night, he stole in, listened to the news and in the morning the reports spread through the ghetto and encouraged the Jews, when they heard about German defeat on the numerous fronts.  Only a few select people knew Harold's secret and the origin of the good and reassuring news.


At Auschwitz, Harold succeeded in maintaining contacts with non-Jewish prisoners, in order to "organize" a little food, a loaf of bread, some margarine, a little fat, sugar, etc. He did not "store" these treasures for himself alone, but distributed them between close and remote sufferers like himself. Others in his place would have bartered or been careful not to be caught for a grave offence, whose punishment was 25 lashes until bleeding occurred. Harold was not afraid of this. He was completely caught up in the work of organizing goods to supply them to women in the special women’s quarters and the sick in the camp hospitals.


During the selections of the Muzzelmans (who were due to die), Harold noticed Mendel BODGAS (Milton STEINBERG) standing in the row of prisoners selected by the demon's henchmen to be sent to the furnace. Harold hastened to bribe the “kapo” in charge of the unfortunate victims and saved Mendel from the clutches of death. Together with other prisoners, he founded the bread bank in which every participant contributed their daily bread portion once a week for their hapless brethren in the hospitals in order to save them and prevent their transfer to the furnaces.


Harold MORROW behaved thus in the awful Auschwitz years, when every prisoner was wholly concerned with saving his life hourly and daily. Harold cared for his fellow-men and did wonders in almost impossible circumstances and out of the greatest danger to himself on the Auschwitz planet. After the liberation, Harold continued his work by organizing the survivors and assembling them at Feldafing camp in Germany. His good natured ness and concern for our townsfolk, which received expression in the conditions at Auschwitz, again operated for the benefit of the few survivors.


In America, Harold was active in the United Committee for many years and invested a lot of work in planning and carrying out activities. One of these was organizing the memorial meeting for the martyrs of our town, which is held annually, to remember the community destroyed in the Holocaust and unite those of our town who came to America both before and after the Second World War by continuing the chain of our forefathers. Harold was an enthusiastic supporter of the Pruzana Jewry memorial volume project in Hebrew and English.


He is married to Leah AMIEL, who was expelled with her family from Bialystock to the Pruzana ghetto. His wife studied at the Tarbut Hebrew high school in Bialystock and was a Hebrew teacher for a few years in Canada and New York. They have a son and daughter. Harold and Leah are active in the Bialystock Committee in New York.