Friday, January 2, 2009

Poland: Krakow's Henryk Halkowski Dies of Heart Attack at 58

Henryk at the Kupa Synagogue, October 2008. Photo: Samuel D. Gruber

Poland: Krakow's Henryk Halkowski Dies of Heart Attack at 58

Henryk Halkowski, the heart and soul of Jewish Krakow, died suddenly of a heart attack in Krakow the night January 1-2. Henryk was full of history, opinions and stories. Among his projects at the time of his death is a volume of translation and commentary of Rabbi Nachman's Stories.

I first met Henry in 1991 or 1992, when I was just beginning the Tempel Synagogue restoration project for the World Monuments Fund, and he introduced me to Jewish Krakow. I last saw him only two months ago. It had been many years since our last visit, but we picked up immediately...almost in mid-sentence from before.

Many people will remember Henryk for a long time to come, and they will hear his voice and his laugh, even when he is gone, as if he is picking up the conversation in mid-sentence.

My sister Ruth know Henryk very well, and she will be writing something about him soon.


Aborygenski said...

I knew Henryk very well as a friend to whom I could talk for hours and hours. Many times, while walking through one of many kazimierz streets I would see him talking to someone about HIS KAZIMIERZ. He will be greatly missed by me and many others
Andrew "Aborygen" Skladowski

Aborygenski said...

Hi, couple weeks after I`ve posted above post , I`ve received an email from somene asking me for a contact. Unfortunately somehow I`ve lost that email and only today I remember about it. Please contact me again so I can get in touch with you
Andrew Skladowski

Unknown said...

I too knew Henry. Usually every 3-4 years i would stop by to see him and schmooze. He was a wealth of information and truly the heart of old world krakow. I only found out that he died yesterday on my way to Lizask.
I will sorely miss him. He loved Jews and everything Jewish.
He could see no bad in anyone.
May his memory be for a blessing to all of us who loved him.

Julian Ungar MD

JUS said...

now 3 years later i return to krakow'

Henryk presence is felt as is his absence

Krakow without Henryk
is like a body without a soul.

I miss him terribly.