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Irena Wygodzka in the Tatras mountains

My father took this picture of me on a rock in Dolina Koscieliska.

It was in 1936 in Zakopane. I had that picture with me throughout the war, it was one of the few keepsakes I had.

After many years I really wanted to find that rock and I did. I had a picture taken in the same place, it was maybe in 1958. Father wasn't there any longer, but the picture has remained and so has the rock.

Irena Wygodzka with her friend Hela Hass

This is a picture of me, Irena Wygodzka, taken with my childhood friend Hela Hass. It was taken in Katowice, in the 1930s.

Obviously, it must have been summer, because we are both wearing bathing suits. I am the one on the right.

I had several friends at school: there was Mala Lobel, Hanka Urbach, there was Rutka Reichman, Mina Schif, Hela Hass. All of us, with the exception of Mina, were in love with this boy from our class. His name was Natan Rozenzweig.

Zosia Laks on vacation

This is a picture of my sister Zofia on vacation. She’s posing with someone dressed up as a bear, a kind of attraction for kids.

The picture was taken in Zakopane, a well known Polish resort in the mountains, in the 1930s.

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.

Irena Wygodzka at her father’s office

This is a picture of me, Irena Wygodzka, using the telephone which was in my father’s office. The picture was taken in the 1930s, at our home in Katowice.

Father's office was in our apartment. There were five rooms there, Father had one room for himself, but it was also the dining room. Apart from Father’s office there was the parents' bedroom and our, the children's bedroom.

There was a kitchen, a small room for the servant, a bathroom with a bathtub and running water. There was a separate toilet, even two.

Irena Wygodzka with her relatives

This is a picture of my family taken on vacation in the 1930s.

In the picture my father is standing first from the left, his cousin Rozia and her husband Heniek Oksenhendler are standing next to him.

My cousin Abram Beitner is sitting in front of them as are the two daughters of Rozia and Heniek Oksenhendler: Renia (on the left) and Fredzia (on the right). My cousin Nacek Beitner is next to me.

Irena Wygodzka with her relatives

This is a picture of my family on vacation in Bystra, taken in 1935.

In the picture I’m standing between my cousins: Estusia and Nacek. My father is standing on the left. There’s also a girl whose name I don’t remember and Lilka Hamburger, a friend of Estusia’s.

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.

Irena Wygodzka with her family

This is a picture of my family on vacation in Ojcow, taken in the 1930s.

I am standing in the center. My mother, Bajla Beitner, is on my right and my father, Herman Beitner, is on my left. My brother Natan is standing behind us.

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.

Irena Wygodzka and her brother Natan Beitner in an agricultural school in Helenowek

This is a picture of me, Irena Wygodzka, and my brother Natan Beitner. It was taken in 1934 when Natan was away at an agricultural school in Helenowek.

After he graduated from seven grades of public school, when Natan was 13 or 14 years old, my parents sent him to an agricultural school in Helenowek near Lodz.

My parents were probably thinking about going to Palestine and wanted Natan to learn about farming, so he'd have a job there. The school in Helenowek was directed by the 'king' of Lodz, Rumkowski.

Natan Beitner with his class mates from Berek Joselewicz Public School in Katowice

This is a class picture of my brother’s class from public school. It was taken in Katowice in the 1930s. Natan is first from the right.

My brother Natan was smarter and more talented than I. I kept arguing with Natan all the time. We would fight over everything, but he was very chivalrous.

I remember how once, when I was supposed to get a spanking for something, he stood in front of me and didn't let Mom or Father spank me. We were later very close, we liked each other very much. Natan kept to himself.

Zosia Laks and Jadzia Mendelson with Hadasa Krzesiwo

qThis is a picture of my two younger sisters, Zosia and Jadzia, with our servant Hadasa. It was taken on vacation in the 1930s.

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. Our more distant family would go with us, too, and we'd spend time there together. We'd rent cottages from peasants.

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