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Irena Wygodzka with her family in Zakopane

This is a picture of my family. It was taken on holiday in Zakopane in the 1930s.

We are standing on some stairs, the youngest one in the family, my sister Jadzia, is standing at the bottom, then my other younger sister Zosia, I am the third from the bottom, then there’s my brother Natan, my mother and my father at the top of the stairs.

Herman and Bajla Beitner

This is a picture of my parents, Herman and Bajla Beitner. It was taken in the 1930s in Katowice.

'Balcia,' I remember that's how my father called Mom. When they were speaking Jewish to each other Mother would call Father 'Herszel,' but when they were speaking Polish - Herman.

Mother was pretty, a brunette, I think. She had short hair, somehow tied, but it wasn't a bun. She wasn't tall, she wasn't plump. She was calm, kind.

Natan Beitner

This is a picture of my brother Natan Beitner. It was taken in the 1930s in Katowice.

Natan is wearing glasses, looking very smart. 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.

Irena Wygodzka with her friends from Akiba

The picture was taken on the occasion of Bronek’s, one of the Akiba leader’s departure to Israel.

On the back of the picture there is an inscription in Polish: ‘For Bronek, a keepsake, on the day of departure to Erec.’

In the picture Bronek, I don’t remember his family name, is sitting in the first row, in the center, on my left-hand side. There are all girls from our unit which was called 'Blyskawica.’

From the left, in the second row: Mala Lobel, Keti, Ruska Cimberknopf, Hanka Urbach, Mina Schif. From right, in the third row: Mania Walner, Fela, Hela Hass.

A portrait of, Irena Wygodzka’s, mother Bajla Beitner

This is a portrait of, Irena Wygodzka’s, mother Bajla Beitner, taken before the war, in the 1930s, in Katowice in our prewar apartment.

In the picture my mother is holding some magazine or book. The only book which I remember we had at home was in Polish. It was Tolstoy, I remember, it was bound in these red covers, but not leather, it was in my father's study.

Bajla Beitner

This is a studio portrait of my mother Bajla Beitner, taken before the war, in the 1930s, in Katowice.

Mother's name was Bala, but officially, in documents - Bajla, I think. But she'd also sign her name Balbina. 'Balcia,' I remember that's how my father called Mom.

Mother was born in Bedzin. She was about as old as Dad, even, I think, a year older. She was pretty, a brunette, I think. She had short hair, somehow tied, but it wasn't a bun.

Irena’s Wygodzka friend Hela Hass

Hela Hass sent me this picture from Siberia where she was during the war.

She wrote on the back of the picture: ‘I wish I could meet you happy once again - really happy, Eni! For you, Hela.’ This picture was taken during one of our skiing trips to the mountains before the war, in the 1930s.

Most of my friends were in Akiba - a Zionist youth organization, so I also joined it. I was in touch with my girlfriends for many years. My best friend Hela Hass was in Siberia during the war.

Herman Beitner at the rope railway station at the Kasprowy Wierch peak

In summer 1938 I went to Zakopane only with my father. I don’t know where the other members of our family were at that time. There I took this picture of my Father with his camera.

He really liked photography. He took pictures whenever he could. At outings, holidays, at home. He had a camera, he had a darkroom. It was some corner, maybe the servants' room. The camera - one of the more popular ones at the time, Zeiss or Leica.

Irena Wygodzka at the swimming-pool in the Tatras

This picture was taken in 1938 in Zakopane. I am sitting beside the swimming pool, second from the right.

In summer 1938 I went to Zakopane only with my father. I don’t know where the other members of our family were at that time. My father took this picture.

He really liked photography. He took pictures whenever he could. At outings, holidays, at home. He had a camera, he had a darkroom. It was some corner, maybe the servants' room. The camera - one of the more popular ones at the time, Zeiss or Leica.

Irena Wygodzka with her friends Mala Lobel and Rutka Reichman

In this picture I’m in Kosciuszki Park in Katowice with my friends: Mala Lobel (first from right) and Rutka Reichman (first from left). The picture was taken in the late 1930s.

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.

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