Interviewer: Kinga Galuszka
Date of interview: May 2004
Mr. Jozef Hen is a well-known Polish writer and in private conversation a brilliant, courteous and inquisitive man.
This interview was conducted in the Ambasador Café in Warsaw, where he is a frequent costumer
and in the library of 'Zwiazek Literatow Polskich' (Association of Polish Writers),
where he is a 'Guest of Honor' and receives special treatment as a popular and respected personage.
This is a picture of me, Irena Wygodzka, with my siblings Natan and Zofia and our family’s employee Hadasa.
It was taken on holiday in Jastrzebia Gora, in 1932. Almost every year we'd go on vacation. We'd leave the city for at least a month, or two. We'd take all our stuff.
We'd go near Katowice, to Bystra, to Cyganski Las, sometimes to Rabka, always to southern Poland, Silesia. I never went to the seaside before the war.
This is a picture of my family, the Beitners. It was taken in 1932 after our family moved back to Poland.
When I was two years old my parents returned from Magdeburg, Germany, to Poland. We went to Katowice. That's where my two sisters were born, Zosia and Jadzia.
In this picture you can see my father, Stanislaw Wygodzki, first from left, then my brother Natan in the top row, me - Irena Wygodzka and then my mother, Bajla Beitner. My sister Zosia is in the bottom row, my father is holding her. My youngest sister, Jadzia, had not been born yet.
This is Aronek, my husband Stanislaw Wygodzki’s youngest brother, with a girl from Bedzin.
The picture was taken in Bystra, in 1929. The last name of the girl in the photo was Liver, I don't remember her first name. She survived the war and left Poland. She sent this picture to my husband from America. Aronek died in Auschwitz, like my husband's entire family.
This is a studio portrait of my father, Herman Beitner. It was taken in the 1920s in Katowice, but I don’t know exactly when and in what studio.
Father was calm, he was good, not talkative, very liberal towards his children, towards the world. He had blond hair, blue eyes. He had a very friendly face. He wore a suit. He had to dress properly, because he went to courts, for hearings.
This is a picture of my sister Zosia Laks nee Beitner standing next to a monument commemorating Jews from Katowice. This picture was taken in 1998.
Both my sisters got married. Their husbands were born in Israel, but their parents were from Poland. My sisters didn't visit me often in Poland. Jadzia came once in 1958. She only visited me again recently, a month ago.
Zosia came here several months ago for some celebrations. She was also in Katowice for the opening of the monument of the Katowice synagogue.