Henoch’s religious Jewish parents married in 1937. His father, Moishe Kornfeld, and his mother, Liba Saleschutz, had settled in Kolbuszowa, where Henoch’s mother was raised. There, Liba’s father bought the newlyweds a home and started his new son-in-law in the wholesale textile business.
Henoch was born in late 1938, and was raised among many aunts, uncles and cousins. Around Henoch’s first birthday, Germany invaded Poland and soon reached Kolbuszowa. Polish soldiers on horses tried to fight against the German army, but they were no match for tanks. After a short battle, there were many dead horses in the streets. Henoch’s town came under German rule.
1940-42: Everyone in town, including the children, knew of Hafenbier, the vicious German police commander with the face of a bulldog who was posted in Kolbuszowa. Hafenbier terrorized and killed many of the town’s Jews. Henoch often played a game with the other children in town in which he would portray Hafenbier, saying to his friends, “If you are a Jew, you are dead.” Then, with a rifle made from a piece of wood, Henoch would “shoot” his playmates. They, in turn, would fall over, pretending they had been killed.
Henoch and his family were deported to the Rzeszow ghetto on June 25, 1942, and then to the Belzec extermination camp on July 7 where they were gassed. Henoch was 3 and a half years old.