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School friends
Marek Edelman Social activist
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[Q] A powiedz coś o szkolnych kolegach, z kim chodziłeś do szkoły?

Wiesz, że nie wiem, do powszechnej, bo do gimnazjum nikogo nie pamiętam. Kto?

[Q] Bergman.

To z powszechnej szkoły.

[Q] No tak, ale...

Ale on był o dwie, czy trzy klasy niżej ode mnie, on nie był moim kolegą. To kolegowanie to się zaczyna, znaczy się teoretycznie, gdzieś po wojnie, znaczy jeżeli kolegowanie, kontakt jakiś, bo przecież nikt z tych kolegów prawie nie został z tej szkoły. Bo jeszcze żył taki Janek, który był w Szanghaju, no Majus jeden żyje, a wszyscy poumierali. Po wojnie żyli jeszcze ci, co byli na Zachodzie - ten Fiszman, który był dyrektorem... dyrektorem UNESCO od szkół rolniczych. On tu przyjeżdżał do Polski z UNESCO, ale go z Polski wydalili, dlatego że on mieszkał w Bristolu, tam go coś okradli, on zrobił awanturę i jednym słowem więcej nie przyjeżdżał. I on się zadawał tutaj z Gucwą i... i z tymi... z Kozakiewiczem, bo oni mu pisali prace, oni u niego zarabiali, a on wydawał te prace w UNESCO. To on jeszcze był, więcej nikt... Z gimnazjum to jeszcze był taki chłopak Mietek Segał, prawda, to on był w Ameryce, ale ja go po wojnie nie widziałem. Kto jeszcze był? Jeszcze był taki chłopak z gimnazjum, Mirlas, to on zginął na tyfus w Rosji, a reszta... Aha! I jest jeden, którego też nigdy nie widziałem, matematyk jakiś, był w Paryżu, a teraz jest w Ameryce, był profesorem matematyki. To są moi koledzy sprzed wojną. Nikt z nich prawie nie żyje, prawda...  Poza Majusem nikt nie żyje, bo oni wszyscy umarli.

[Q] Say something about your school friends. Who did you go to school with?

I don't know. To primary school, to grammar school - I don't remember anyone. Who? Bergman. That was from primary school but he was two, three classes below me, he wasn't my friend. Frienship began, in theory, some time after the war, if that was friendship, some sort of contact, because almost no one is left from that school. There was someone called Janek who was in Shanghai, and Majus who's the only one left alive, all the rest have died. After the war, there were still those who were living in the West, Fiszman who was the head of UNESCO's agricultural schools. He used to come here to Poland with UNESCO but they made him leave Poland because he was staying at the Bristol Hotel where he was robbed, and he kicked up a fuss so after that he stopped coming. While he was here, he hung around with Gucwa and Kozakiewicz because they would write papers for him and earn a bit of money from him, while he had the papers published in UNESCO. In grammar school, there was another boy called Mietek Segal, he was in America but I didn't see him after the war. Who else was there? There was a boy from grammar school called Mirlas, he died of typhoid in Russia. Then there was another one whom I also never saw, a mathematician who was in Paris and is in America now, he was a professor of mathematics. These are my friends from before the war. Almost none of them are still alive. Apart from Majus, they're all dead.

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: Anka Grupinska Joanna Szczesna Joanna Klara Agnieszka Zuchowska

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.

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.

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.

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 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.

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.

Tags: friends, school, friendship, grammar school

Duration: 2 minutes, 11 seconds

Date story recorded: December 2003

Date story went live: 24 January 2008