Irena Wojdyslawska and her best friend Ryszard Krasilewicz

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

This is me and my best friend Ryszard Krasilewicz. He was my colleague in Psychiatric Hospital. I think that that photo was taken in the 1960’s or at the end of the 1950’s, but I don’t remember exactly. I also don’t remember who took it, maybe some friend of mine?

In 1951 I gave birth to a daughter, Janka. I was very happy, because I wanted to have a daughter. She was an illegitimate child. I don't admit who the father is, because his children have no idea that he has a child with me. I was at fault very much, because I got involved with Ryszard. He was psychiatrist. I even arranged his admission to the clinic. We saw each other every day at work and after work. Ryszard was Janka's Godfather.

My housekeeper influenced me to baptize the child. The housekeeper, who cared for Janka ever since she was born, took her final exams at the Nazareth Nuns' school [a Polish order of nuns, founded in the XIVth century, deals with the education of girls, work in hospitals and orphanages]. She was a deeply religious and practicing person. She raised Janka religiously, she often took her to church. Janka was a strong believer and wanted to be baptized. She was several years old by then - 7, maybe 8. Ryszard also persuaded me to this baptism. The ceremony took place in a church, in Aleksandrow, because the Godmother was from Aleksandrow. All the formalities connected with baptism were taken care of by the Godparents.

My daughter's name was Wojdyslawska-Wald, because I got married in 1954. Ryszard [Janka’s father] didn't propose to me, I quarreled with him. I got married [to someone else] because of my daughter. I thought that there would be all kinds of social problems once she went to school. At that time people looked a bit differently at illegitimate children. My husband's name was Mieczyslaw Wald. He was a Jew. At the Marriage Office he said that Janka was his daughter.

1968 was for me like the beginning of occupation once again. It was such a difficult experience that I sent my daughter to France. I didn't want to her go through all this. Janka was 17 years old then. An aunt from Australia offered to finance her university studies there. But Janka didn't want to stay there. She missed Poland and so these plans collapsed.

My daughter attended the gymnasium on Narutowicza Street. She later graduated from the Technical University of Lodz, Faculty of Chemistry. She's a chemist, an engineer. She's currently working as an insurance agent. She and her husband live in Poddebice near Lodz. My daughter is catholic, but she doesn't go to church.

Interview details

Interviewee: Irena Wojdyslawska
Interviewer:
Marek Czekalski
Month of interview:
November
Year of interview:
2004
Lodz, Poland

KEY PERSON

Irena Wojdyslawska
Year of birth:
1921
City of birth:
Lodz
Country name at time of birth:
Poland
Occupation
after WW II:
Psychiatrist

Other Person

Ryszard Krasilewicz
Year of birth:
1925
City of birth:
Wilno
Year of death:
1991
City of death:
Lodz
Country of death:
Poland
Occupation
after WW II:
Psychiatrist
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