By BosNewsLife News Center in Budapest
WARSAW/BUDAPEST (BosNewsLife)-- Jerzy Bielecki, a Polish inmate who led his Jewish girlfriend out of the Auschwitz death camp in 1944 has died at the age of 90, BosNewsLife learned Tuesday, October 25.
During the war, he spent several months piecing together an SS uniform. Pretending he was taking a Jewish inmate out of the camp for interrogation he and his Jewish girlfriend Cyla Cybulska slipped past a camp guard.
The couple was later separated, spending decades unaware of what fate had befallen each other.
It was not until 1982, when Cybulska was married living in New York, that fate added another twist to the tale, Polish media reported.
Cybulska told her Polish cleaning lady how she had escaped from the concentration camp only to find that the woman once heard an identical story on the radio.
The following year, the two was reunited at Krakow airport with Bielecki brandishing 39 roses, one marking each year they had been apart. Bielecki was later honored as one of Righteous Among Nations by Israel's Yad Vashem Institute and became an honorary citizen of the Jewish state.
His daring escape from the camp along with a woman he fell in love were also described in a variety of documentaries and books, including Bielecki's own autobiography 'Kto ratuje jedno życie' or 'He who saves one life', published in 1990.
He became an inmate after joining the Polish Army during the start of World War Two.
Caught at the border with Hungary in May 1940, German forces reportedly brought him to the newly-created Auschwitz concentration camp with the first transport of hundreds of Polish political prisoners.
Following his spectacular escape he continued to be involved in the Polish resistance movement, the 'Home Army' , one of the reasons why he was separated from his girlfriend.
After the war - and long unaware about the fate of his sweetheart - the social worker co-founded the Christian Association of Auschwitz Families.
Bielecki died in his sleep last week, October 20, at his home in Nowy Targ, southern Poland.
He was predeceased by his former sweetheart, Cybulska, who died in New York in 2002, Polish radio said.