Krosno, Poland

In 1923, Alexander Bialywlos (later changed his name to Alexander B. White) was born in Krosno, Poland to Lea and Mendel Bialywlos. Alex had two brothers and a sister. He was always surrounded by family because there was a large clan of Bialywlos in Krosno. Alex’s father, Mendel owned part of a glazing shop along with Alex’s uncle Joseph. The two had great success in Krosno because glass glazing was a unique profession and they were the only ones with a shop in the area. Alex entered grade school at the age of 6, which was a year younger than most students. He was extremely smart and could recite facts on a dime. The family actually thought Alex might become a Rabbi when he grew up because he could memorize the Torah. Alex was not immune to anti-Semitism during the time. One example from his oral history is when a student in class passed gas, held his noise, and pointed at Alex to say, “The Jew stinks.” On September 1, 1939 at 4 AM, just a few weeks after Alex turned 16, the family awoke to German dive bombers. Hitler had advanced his armies into Poland. It did not take long for Alex’s father to reach out to a Polish peasant to transport the family eastward, away from the fighting. They reached the village of Dynow and decided to wait out the fighting there.