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NEXT STORY

Terror on the streets

RELATED STORIES

The first organisations in the ghetto
Marek Edelman Social activist
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A tutaj organizowało się to życie podziemne w getcie, bo to powstawały te wszystkie partie, organizowały się te kuchnie. No i tutaj przecież nie wolno było uczyć dzieci. Więc w tych wszystkich szkołach, które były społeczne, to znaczy bundowskie  szkoły, parasyjonistyczne  szkoły, powszechne oczywiście, powszechne... to pod pozorem tych kuchni, gdzie dawali dzieciom talerz zupy, a ta zupa była niby oficjalnie, bo była z tego Żytosu, czyli tej organizacji społecznej, która miała tą owsiankę... ten owies właściwie, to tam odbywały się, ci sami nauczyciele, którzy zostali uczyli dzieci normalnych lekcji szkolnych i tak dalej, i tak dalej. To była pierwsza taka wielka nielegalna organizacja, która obejmowała kilkaset, może kilka tysięcy to trudno się zorientować ile, ale bardzo dużo dzieci. To się udało, bo te kuchnie były dobrą przykrywką dla takiej nielegalnej pracy. Tak to było wtedy, więc ta cała praca... te... Chodziło o to żeby utrzymać, że mimo tego, co się dzieje, żeby utrzymać w jakimś stopniu normalne życie, nie patrząc na to, co się dzieje. Żyć jakby się... żyć obok, obok tego terroru, obok tego...obok tej... tej siły. No i tak to się stało potem. To trwało dosyć długo. To trwało rok czasu.

The activities of underground bodies in the ghetto were being organised, all these parties had been formed and they were getting organised as were these kitchens. Of course, it was forbidden to teach children, so in all of these schools, which were welfare schools, meaning they were run by Bund or were parazionist schools, and were all primary schools of course, they used the cover of these soup kitchens where the children were each given a bowl of soup, soup that was official because it came from Żytos, the social organisation that had the oats, to teach normal school lessons conducted by the teachers who had remained behind. It was the first large, illegal organisation that involved several hundred, perhaps several thousand, it's hard to tell how many but very many children. This worked because these kitchens were a very good cover for this kind of illegal activity. That's how it was then. The main thing then was to maintain some kind of normality despite everything that was happening and to ignore what was going on all around. To live alongside, alongside this terror, side by side with this power. And that's what happened later. This lasted quite a long time. It lasted for a whole year.

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: Bund, Żytos

Duration: 1 minute, 51 seconds

Date story recorded: December 2003

Date story went live: 24 January 2008