Elke Grünwald and relatives

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  • Photo taken in:
    Krakow
    Country name at time of photo:
    Poland
    Country name today:
    Poland

This is a picture of my grandmother, Elke Grünwald (nee Schwarzwald) and other family members. There are from left: a cousin of mine, whose name I don?t remember, my aunt Paulina Szmosz (nee Grünwald), her husband Marek Szmosz, my grandmother and Dana Klipper (nee Grünwald), my mom's twin sister.

From my mother's side, my grandparents were called Karol-Kopel Grünwald and Elzbieta-Elke, nee Schwarzwald. My grandfather was a master builder, well known in Cracow, there were many anecdotes about him because he was witty and fun, built many houses. I have a calendar from 1913 stating the house owners of Cracow, and he is mentioned there several times. Grandmother surely didn't do anything besides running the house. When you have eight children you can hardly have a career. My maternal grandparents weren't religious.

Aunt Szmoszowa was the most beautiful one of them all, with beautiful hair and eyes. Her husband was a railway engineer, always with a spade at his side. Marek Szmosz his name was, and he began as a stationmaster in Jaslo, then got promoted to some regional headquarters office. They had three kids, the eldest one was Stefa, she married Hugo Steinhaus a professor in Lwow. They had one daughter, Lidka, who married Jan Kott. Then was the Szmoszes' second daughter, Helena. She studied, chiefly Latin, knew it better than Polish. She married an oil refinery director, Dittersdorf. They were killed in France during the war. They had one daughter, Anita, who survived and is still alive; she's a doctor, an ophthalmologist, and a lay nun. The Steinhauses also survived, Hugo was a professor in Wroclaw after the war. Stefa died in America. She went there to visit her daughter Lidka, stayed there and died in a tragic accident: She set herself ablaze. Paulina also had a son, Adolf Szmosz, or Dolek. He was a talented engineer, had a degree from Lwow Technical University and before the war worked at the Zgoda steel plant, owned by the Wspolnota Interesow cooperative. It was a very large factory, manufacturing the largest and best machines in Poland at the time.

Then came my mother and her twin sister, Dana. My mother's name was stated as Miriam in her birth certificate and as Maria in all other documents. So my mother had a twin sister, Danuta. They were very fond of each other, met very often. Dana married one Jozef Klipper. He was a chemist from Bielsko, graduate of the Berlin Technical University. He spoke fluent German, while his Polish was accented and sounded slightly false. He was an executive in the oil industry, made a career there, served as chief executive at the refinery in Jaslo, then in Czechowice-Dziedzice, and finally in Jedlicze. He actually built the Jedlicze refinery for the pre-war Polish government. Dana was a rich man's wife, didn't even care too much about running the house, had many servants, in Jedlicze: a driver, a gardener, and a footman. At dinner parties the footman served food, sometimes giving me instructions: for instance, when asparagus was served, he told me it was alright to eat it with my fingers.

Interview details

Interviewee: Alfred Borowicz
Warsaw, Poland

KEY PERSON

Elke Grünwald
Died:
before WW II
Occupation
before WW II:
Housewife
after WW II:
Housewife
Family names
  • Previous family name: 
    Schwarzwald
    Reason for changing: 
    Marriage
    Decade of changing: 
    1860

Other Person

Paulina Szmoszowa
Country of death:
Poland
Died:
after WW II
Occupation
before WW II:
Housewife
after WW II:
Housewife
  • Previous family name: 
    Grünwald
    Reason for changing: 
    Marriage
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