I remember some of the names


End of the school year in Kozowo. June 1939.
"Have a look at the children in the picture through a magnifying glass. They are children from the town of Kozowo in Podolia, from class 5a, happy because vacation is about to begin. "When I first went to school, my father asked that I be seated with the Jewish children. He was always saying, The Jews are a wise people - one should heed their advice. Maybe that is why I became so close to them. Closest to my heart were Rza and Klara, who sat in the middle of the classroom. Rza was serious. She used to wear her hair plaited with ribbons and tied into buns over her ears.
She was the best at mathematics, and would help the other students with math. On trips she would bring along crisp rolls for all the students. Her parents had a bakery. Next to her sat Klara, her inseparable companion. She had very curly hair, with short braids. She liked to make the children laugh with her remarks. In the class there was another Klara, terribly quiet, hard-working, a nice girl. In the picture she is standing by the wall. Behind her is Mosio, with the white turned-down collar. He always wore that kind of shirt. Often he would lean on his elbow, thinking, and the teacher would say, Mosiu, I'm sure you already know it. And indeed, he did. Sonia, sitting in the back on the left, was an only child, and was well-groomed and simply beautiful. She went to class dancing and laughing. There was also Sara (here, on the right) with coppery hair. She was shy, and had problems with Polish.

Pupils and teachers of a school at Oswiecim, academic year 1915/1916 (on the reverse side someone wrote, "the time of Franz Habsburg"). Among the pupils are four Jewish girls - in the first row, the first and second on the right, and in the second row, the fifth and sixth. The teacher who is standing lower and closer to the girls, is also Jewish.
And there was another girl and boy, but I don't remember their names. "During the Soviet occupation we still went to school together. When the Germans came, the Jewish children from this photograph and from the school - and their parents, and siblings and other relatives - were all murdered. They took them out of town to the quarries and shot them to death. In this way one third of our town died. Four persons survived. A father and son went into hiding in the marshes far from town, and my mother protected Szmuc and her fiance. She put them up in our cellar and for a year and a half she gave them food, not even telling our father. And in the cellar they survived the tragedy. They had a child, but it was stillborn. They had to bury it next to them. They told us about it only once they were free."
Cecylia Przylucka, Lasowice Wielkie

Jakub Zew Litman, teacher at the Jewish Co-Educational Gymnasium and director of the "Tachkemoni" seven-year public school in Kalisz. He taught Hebrew and Jewish history. Beginning in 1931 he was a rabbi in Torun.

Jakub Zew Litman with his students. On the reverse of no. 241: "To beloved Mr. Litman, as a remembrance, from the girls' second- year class."

Jakub Zew Litman with his students. On the reverse of no. 241: "To beloved Mr. Litman, as a remembrance, from the girls' second- year class."

Jakub Zew Litman with his students. On the reverse of no. 241: "To beloved Mr. Litman, as a remembrance, from the girls' second- year class."

Jakub Zew Litman with his students. On the reverse of no. 241: "To beloved Mr. Litman, as a remembrance, from the girls' second- year class."

On the reverse side, in a child's handwriting: "In remembrance of the trip to Plock. 1934, fifth year".
"That was a wonderful trip, by boat. I remember that we visited the Mariawitian monastery - there was fantastic embroidery there. The Mariawitians must have been very progressive to let us, an entire class of Jewish girls, in. We attended Public School No. 69 on Parysowski Square in Warsaw. I remember the names of a few of my schoolmates: Czemernicka, Reginka Trysk, Hela Blones, Pola Urwicz (at right in the unbuttoned coat; she was later with me in the Ghetto, in the Polish Workers' Party resistance group and in the Jewish Resistance Organization; she was taken to Treblinka, I believe in January of 1943), Hiler, Jakubowska. I was called Stefa Szochur. I'm on the left side, with my hand on the shoulder of the girl in front of me.

"Behind me you can see Mrs. Wachockier, the math teacher. The headmistress, Mrs. Nigelszporn, is standing behind the children. I met her and her daughter Marta in the Hotel Polski in 1943 -I myself had just escaped from the camp at Poniatowa. As far as I know, they both died. I was saved thanks to Poles - I had Aryan papers. Besides me, only Fela Wermus (sitting in front in a light sweater) survived the War. In the 1930s she and her family emigrated to Palestine. At that time her name was Cipora Cajlingold. It's she who sent me the photograph and added on the back, Dear Stefcia, What a terrible photograph this is for me. It's hard for me to imagine that all of these lovely faces, these dear, naive children, are no more. Of all of them, Stefka, only you and I remain. For them we must start a new line and give the world new and healthy children. We must show them that we Jews will always exist, that there is no power which can overcome us. Take hold of yourself, Stefka! Study if you wish, but the main thing is, keep your head up! And believe in your star - it's still shiningo."
As told by Stefa Starszewska, actress in the State Jewish Theater of Warsaw

Students from the Jewish school in Radomsko. Print from a glass plate found in a private home.

Inscription in Yiddish: "In commemoration of the first Regional Zionist Conference in Chelm. November 12,1919." At the meeting it was resolved to organize a library and to begin collecting money for Keren Kajemet Leisrael (the Jewish National Fund) for the purpose of buying land in Palestine.

Synagogue choir in Biala (now Bielsko-Biala), 1920s. Seated: Eugen Schiff-MIler, Albert Seelenfreund, head cantor Adolf Wygoda (before the War he moved to Koice in Slovakia, and from there emigrated to America, where he achieved great fame; he died in the early 1990s), Cantor Linkowski, Cantor Szrager. Standing: Icchak Beizer, Jzef Dattner, Salo Werner, Beniamin Grinfeld, Iziu Albin, Natan Rattner (who lives in Tel Aviv and who identified the people in the picture), J. Rossbach, Jakub Bester.

End of the school year in Lezajsk. "In every class there were five or ten Jewish children. Mr. Stendig taught Jewish religion there." Maria Fijalkowska, Lublin

248 The First People's School of the "Worker Thatch" Association in Warsaw, at 16 Muranowska Street, 1921. "The parents of my friends from this school were mainly craftsmen, laborers, and small shop-owners. I don't recall any well-to-do families. My father was a type-setter for Yiddish and Hebrew newspapers. The school was under the patron age of the Poalei Zion Left Party. The language of instruction was Yiddish, but Polish and Hebrew were compulsory subjects. The names of the teachers have stuck in my mind: Aronson, Blas, Epstein, Glatstein, Gordon - the vice-principal, Nachtenstein (in the center of the second row, embracing me and my friend Prechner), Rubinlicht, Salomonow (he walked with crutches, and organized the school orchestra), Schiper, Smolar, Wolfson. The principal was a wonderful pedagogue and physician, Dr. Ajzensztat. I received this photograph in 1952 from Mrs. Gordon of Chicago. My copy was destroyed in the bombardment of Warsaw." Mieczyslaw Epsztejn, Poznan
249 On the reverse: "A souvenir of the school excursion to Krakow. Queen Jadwiga Elementary School in Ldz, October 2,1935." "In the first row, second from right, sits Rubinsztein; third, Gering; fourth, Ajzenberg. Standing: first from right, Engler; fourth, Gnnberg. Of the Jewish girls in the photograph, there are also Hania Opoczynska, Zalzberg and my girl-friend Halina Rozental (sitting in the second row, first from left). Her parents had a store in Ldz on Nawrot Street, such a small delicatessen. They were very cultured people. The Jewish girls in my class were well-polished, pretty, intelligent, like their entire people. My first love was Abrahamek. When he saw me in a white dress for my First Communion, he took such a liking to me that he kissed me in front of everyone in the balcony. "I didn't hear that any of the Jewish girls in my class survived." As told by Halina Jaworska of Warsaw

Third grade of the seven-year Public School No. 6 in Rwne, May 1937. There were thirteen Jewish children in the class.

Pupils and teachers of the Jewish Gymnasium in Mlawa. Seated are Dr. Rosenman (second from left), principal Icchak Hirszhorn (third), and Isachar Fater (fourth).

252253254, 255 The same class from the village school in Drobin, not far from Plock, during subsequent years of study: Grade Three (1931), Grade Four (1932), Grade Six (1934), and Grade Seven (1936). I guess that half of the class as Jewish. I remember some of the surnames: Ekman, Falkiewicz, Fastakówna, Fefer, Goldberg, Kwiatek, Lipszyc, Lisner, Miodownik, Panfil. Perhaps someone can recognize himself, a relative or a friend." Marianna Krawczyk, nee Sikorska, Olsztyn

256 Students of the Yeshivat Hachmei Lublin (the School of Sages in Lublin) and its founder Meir Szapiro, on the day of its official opening, June 24, 1930.
"The official opening ceremonies of the yeshiva took place at half-past-three in the afternoon. I was already waiting at noon across the street on the balcony of my friend, Perelmuter. There were crowds of Hasidim everywhere in caps, gabardine coats, and boots above the ankle. Over ten thousand people were gathered, when the entire Jewish population of Lublin numbered less than forty thousand. Rabbi lzrael Frydman from Czortków, the teacher of Rabbi Szapiro, opened the door with a gold key, and with a golden hammer fastened a gold mezuzah to the doorpost. Afterward, leaflets appeared, put out by Poalei Zion and the Bund against Szapiro, whose orthodoxy did not find favor with the Jewish leftist parties. I still have today, articles cut out of »Hajnt«, the largest Jewish newspaper, describing how »a Polish princess has sent 12 thousand saplings and 100 mature trees from her own park to be planted along the avenue leading to the yeshiva.« "Now, the yeshiva building houses the Medical Academy. Whenever they carry out renovations there, I am always present, and beg the painters not to cover over the traces of the mezuzah."
As told by Symcha Wajs of Warsaw

 257 A reunion of graduates of Elementary School No. 49 at 9 Brzeska Street, Warsaw, 1936. "It was a regular state-run elementary school in the Praga district, although only Jewish children attended. The teachers - all Jews, except for the drawing teacher, had higher education, but could not find positions in the Polish gymnasia. Our teacher Ida Askenazy knew Sanskrit and French. One of my classmates is holding "Three Salutes" by Stande - a leftist book, which was popular among us.
In the first row from the top, standing from left, are: 5. - Mietek Albrecht, 6. - Don, 7. - Zosia Szmelcyngier (she left for France before the War, where she owned a sweater factory), 8. - Mendelson, 10. - Orlinska (the one with the white collar), 11. - Izaak Wajsbrot, our Polish language teacher, 12. - Renia Stalik (I met her in 1941 in Bialystok, starving, with a child at her breast), 13. - Sznajderman (he survived the war), 14. - Jadwiga Polkowska, 15. - Maria Frydman (lives in Warsaw), 16. - Kotlarz (he survived the war in Spain, died in Israel), 17. - Don, 20. - Hornblas, 21. - Losicer, 22. - Komar (the only one of the class who forced her way through the Jewish quota was accepted into university and graduated in Polish studies just before the war, only to perish soon after in the ghetto), 23. - Bronka Zuraw.
In the second row from the top: 1. - Fela Szerman, 2. - our teacher Birnbaum, the one with the scarf, 3. - Szczepanska, 4. - Kosower, 6. - Giertych, 7. - Witelson, 8. - Cecyha Komar, 9.- Zuraw, 10. - Bronek SzuIc, 11. - Sabina Komorowska, 12. our teacher Ewa Opoczynska.
Third row: 1. - Sonia Zilbersztajn (a Polish worker hid her, she now lives in Israel), 2. - Irena Fels, a Polish language teacher, 3. - Wachenchauer, 4. - Wikelson, 5. - Majman, 6. - Elbaum, 7. - Miss Leontyna Kempner, the school principal, 8. - our mathematics teacher, Bronislawa Jeszoron-Rakowska, 10. - our home-room teacher, Anna Goldfal-Wygodzka, 11. - the school doctor Winawer, 12. - Bronka Dombrowner.
Sitting on the floor: 1. - Fridman, 2. - Lutka Szerman (she was in a Russian camp, died in Israel), 3. Balbina Szulc (also survived in the Soviet Union, and went to Israel), 4. - Gina Fajgenbaum - that's me, 5. - Herszon, 6. - Szpajzman, 7. - Basia SzuIc, 8. - another of the Fridman sisters, 11. - Irena Raisking, 12. - Irena's husband, Horensztajn (lying on the left). Marek Bober (lying on the right) married Basia SzuIc and they had two sons. When I met him in 1941 in Bialystok, he told me -You have a Polish husband, don't burden yourself with Jews.- He decided to return to Warsaw, to the ghetto. He was a real Praga guy, positive that somehow he would be alright. He himself was killed, but he managed to save one of his sons, who later became a professor in America." As told by Eugenia Gnoinska of Warsaw

258 Jewish Gymnasium in Radomsko. Print from a glass plate.

259 Students of the Jewish school in Kolbuszowa. 1930s.

260 Jewish Gymnasium in Radomsko. Print from a glass plate.

261 Jewish school in Kolbuszowa. December 13,1931.

262 Photograph found on Ogrodowa Street after the liquidation of the ghetto in Szydlowiec in August 1942.

263 Third grade of the seven-year Public School No. 6 in Równe, May 1937. There were thirteen Jewish children in the class.

264 A mandolin group in the village of Skryhiczyn on the Bug River, which was made up of Jewish, Polish and Ukrainian children. 1920s.

265 October 27,1927. Second grade of the public school in Urzedów.
"There are quite a few Jewish children here - in Urzedów we went to school together. Almost all of the Jews lived on the market square, where they had stores. I lived close by (I still live in the same place), so I hung around with them. At home there were plum trees, so at recess we would come running up, gather them into our pockets, and then head back to school. I have to write that to this day I remember the taste when Elka. Szajbrum gave me matzah, and especially the baked cake that she told me was made of ground matzah, and how it was moist and delicious like an excellent sernik. "When the Germans came and the Jews had to go into hiding, Lejzur's son came a few times for hot tea. We would cry to think how cold they were. 'And I recall that before the War, Lejzur had a bakery, impeccably clean - but mostly I think of the bread, how it was baked there, how I've never seen any like it to this day. Brown bread, rye, mixed, whole-grain. It's a shame, for when the Jews were gone, that delicious bread went with them."
Zofia Sobel, Urzedów

266 A Jewish kindergarten in Walbrzych, 1940s.
"In 1946 my mother and I were going with the whole transport of repatriates from Russia. We had nowhere to return to, since our hometown Jaslo had been completely burnt. So, like everybody else, we went on to the last station with the sign bearing the inscription: »Gottesberg«. "Those who came with us started there a kibbutz. Mama said that she had been on a kolkhoz, and that was enough for her. She went to work in Walbrzych for the Jewish Committee, which also ran a kindergarten. The kibbutzniks soon left for Palestine."
As told by Tola Zatopianska of Wroclaw

267 The first grade of the nine-year Adam Mickiewicz Polish school in Dzhambul. April 1945.
"In the entire school there were only three Polish children - the rest were Jews. Many of them had lost one or both of their parents. In all the turmoil of the War, they had ended up in Kazakhstan. The teachers and the administrative staff were also Jews, mostly from Kraków. I taught the younger classes. In the photograph I'm sitting with the children."
Regina Maksymowicz, Zielona Góra

Previous Section Next Section