Zuzanna Mensz’ cousin Hanka Szydlowska

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It is a photo of Hanka Szydlowska, my cousin from Skryhiczyn. It was taken in 1945, before Hanka’s emigration to Palestine. We met in Lublin.

After the war my another cousin, Esterka Rottenberg, found two children, Hanka and Szmulek, from our relatives the Szydlowski family. Szydlowskis had a sawmill between the Manor and the Farm in Skryhiczyn. Hanka’s mother, Fryda, was a teacher. She left her two youngest children with a friend of her, also a teacher, in a village near Volodymir. They both survived. The boy didn't want to leave Volodymir, he already went to school there, wanted to learn there, and he stayed in the teacher's care. Esterka arranged for him, so that his uncle's house was signed over to him. He later became an engineer and moved to Moldova. Hanka returned to Poland with Esterka. They went to Lodz, because Esterka had used to live there, she had some relatives. Ida Merzan put Hanka in a children's home and Esterka moved in with Hania Lanota, who had already left Lublin. Esterka took care of Hania's child, Malgosia. One day a relative of ours, who'd served in the British Army, came to us from Israel and decided to take our whole family from Poland to Israel. He spent a whole night persuading us to go with him. Only Esterka and Hanka Szydlowska joined him.

Hanka established a very nice family in Israel, she has two gifted sons, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, she still looks young herself, she even drives a car. I met her two years ago, when I visited my family in Israel.

Interview details

Interviewee: Zuzanna Mensz
Aleksandra Bankowska
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Warsaw, Poland


Hanka Szydlowska
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