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Guardians following my mother's death

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The apartment in Warsaw
Marek Edelman Social activist
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[Q] Say something about the apartment you all lived in Warsaw. Where was it?

On Franciszkanska Street, number 14, on the corner with Nowiniarska Street but so what, who knows about this? That corner's no longer there today, the house is gone, there's nothing there. All that's left is the path leading to the entrance, those old stones along which you drove up to the entrance. Apart from that, there's nothing left because the house was bombed in 1939 and half the house was demolished. The other half survived but I don't remember for how long. And that was it. There were three rooms and a kitchen. When my mother died, I rented out two rooms. I had a bit of money out of that, and that's how it was. That is, I didn't rent them out, that was all taken care of by my mother's friends. A family lived there, a husband and wife, then they had a child. I still saw them during the war but after that they vanished. Once the war started, I didn't go back there any more.

[Q] A opowiedz coś o tym mieszkaniu w którym mieszkaliście w Warszawie. Gdzie ono było?

Na Franciszkańskiej pod 14. To było na rogu Nowiniarskiej, ale co to, kto to wie gdzie to było, tego rogu nie ma dzisiaj i w ogóle nie ma tego domu i nie ma nic. Tam jest... została tylko z tego, co było... ten do bramy taki podjazd, te stare kamienie, gdzie się wjeżdżało do bramy to to jest. A nic poza tym nie ma, bo bomba trafiła w ten dom w 39 roku i pół domu rozwaliło, a drugie pół jeszcze stało do... nie pamiętam do kiedy. I to wszystko. Trzy pokoje z kuchnią. Jak mama umarła to dwa pokoje wynajmowałem. Miałem ileś złotych za to i... i tak było. Znaczy, nie ja wynajmowałem, to wszystko koleżanki mamy załatwiały. Taka rodzina tam mieszkała, dwoje - mąż i żona, potem się dziecko urodziło. Jeszcze ich widziałem w czasie wojny, ale potem zniknęli mi gdzieś z horyzontu. Ja już tam... jak się wojna zaczęła, ja już tam nie wróciłem.

Marek Edelman (1919-2009) was a Jewish-Polish political and social activist and a noted cardiologist. He was the last surviving leader of the 1943 uprising in the Warsaw Ghetto. Following the Second World War, he took an active part in domestic and international politics, dedicating himself to fighting for justice and peace.

Listeners: Joanna Klara Agnieszka Zuchowska Anka Grupinska Joanna Szczesna

Joanna Klara Agnieszka 'Aga' Zuchowska, urodzona 20 stycznia 1938. Ojciec zginal w Katyniu. Po wojnie zamieszkala w Lodzi. Studia ukonczyla w 1960 r. a specjalizacje z chorób wewnetrznych w 1973 r. Doktorat obronila we Wroclawiu. Pracowala z Markiem Edelmanen przez 15 lat. W 1982 r. wyjechala do Algerii. Wrócila do Polski w 1985 r. i mieszka obecnie w Lodzi.

Joanna Klara Agnieszka 'Aga' Zuchowska was born 20 January 1938. Her father was killed in the Katyń massacre. After the war, she moved from Warsaw to Lódz. She obtained a degree in medicine in 1960, qualifying as a specialist in internal medicine in 1973. Dr Zuchowska worked with Marek Edelman for 15 years. In 1982 she left Poland for Algeria where she remained for the next three years, returning to Poland in 1985. She currently lives in Lódz.

Anka Grupinska ukonczyla filologie angielska na UAM w Poznaniu. Wspólpracowala z poznanskimi pismami podziemnymi, wraz z innymi zalozyla i wydawala dwumiesiecznik "Czas Kultury". W latach 1988-1989 przebywala w Izraelu opracowujac wspomnienia ocalalych z Zaglady. W latach 1991-1993 pracowala jako attaché kulturalny w ambasadzie polskiej w Tel Awiwie. Od 1996 mieszka w Polsce. Anka Grupinska specjalizuje sie w tematyce stosunków polsko-zydowskich. Publikuje ksiazki (m. in. Wydawnictwo Literackie, Zydowski Instytut Historyczny, Twój Styl), artykuly prasowe (m. in. "Tygodnik Powszechny", "Rzeczpospolita"), realizuje projekty wystawiennicze. Jest takze koordynatorem miedzynarodowego projektu "Swiadek zydowskiego wieku" (archiwizowanie pamieci o zydowskiej przedwojennej Polsce), prowazi autorska audycje radiowa "O Zydach i o Polakach tez" i uczy warszawskich studentów sztuki czytania i pisanie tekstów literackich.

Anka Grupinska studied English at the Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznan, Poland. She wrote for Poznan’s underground publications and was herself one of the founding publishers of the bi-monthly Czas Kultury. She spent 1988 and 1989 in Israel compiling reminiscences of Holocaust survivors. From 1991 to 1993, she held the post of Cultural Attache at the Polish Embassy in Tel Aviv. She moved back to Poland in 1996 and now writes books on Jewish subjects, mainly dealing with the history of the Warsaw ghetto. She is also a freelance journalist for Tygodnik Powszechny. Anka Grupinska is the director of the Centropa Foundation project in Poland (oral history project) called “The Witness of the Jewish Century¿, presents her own radio programme, “Of Jews and of Poles too¿, and teaches creative writing and oral history in Collegium Civitas and SWPS in Warsaw.

Joanna Szczesna, dziennikarka "Gazety Wyborczej", autorka - wraz z Anna Bikont - biografia polskiej noblistki "Pamiatkowe rupiecie, przyjaciele i sny Wislawy Szymborskiej". Od lat 70-tych zwiazana z opozycja demokratycznaw Polsce, wspólpracowniczka Komitetu Obrony Robotników, wspóltwórczyni prasy niezaleznej w Polsce: redaktorka "Biuletynu Informacyjnego KOR-u", Agencji Prasowej "Solidarnosc" i "Tygodnika Mazowsze".

Joanna Szczesna is a journalist writing for Gazeta Wyborcza. Together with Anna Bikont, she’s the author of Pamiatkowe rupiecie, przyjaciele i sny Wislawy Szymborskiej (The Recollected Flotsam, Friends and Dreams of Wislawa Szymborska) a biography of Wislawa Szymborska, the Polish winner of the Noble Prize for Literature. Since the 1970s, Joanna Szczesna has been involved with the democratic opposition movement in Poland, active in the Worker’s Defence Committee (KOR), the co-founder of the independent press in Poland: editor of KOR’s Information Bulletin, Solidarnosc Press Agency and Tygodnik Mazowsze.

Tags: Warsaw, 1939

Duration: 1 minute, 15 seconds

Date story recorded: December 2003

Date story went live: 24 January 2008