Anna Mass with her sister and friends

This is me, my sister Elka and our friends from Kazimierz. I don’t remember their names.

My father was a watchmaker. In the summer, my father always went to Kazimierz [resort town on the Vistula, some 100 km south of Warsaw], there was work there.

People dropped their watches into water, into sand, you had to clean them.

And that's why Kazimierz is like a second home town for me. I always spent the whole summer there.

Anna Mass and her father Jankiel Swarc in Kazimierz

It’s me, Chana, today Anna, with my father Jankiel Szwarc in Kazimierz.

My father, as I said, was a watchmaker. At first he went from village to village to earn money, then he set up a small shop where he worked. It was at Pijarska Street in Lublin.

As we always barely made the ends meet, if we bought something, it was on credit.

Those bills of exchange had to be eventually repaid, and there was always some hectic searching for the money.

Anna Mass

Warsaw, Polen

Anna MassCity: WarsawCountry: PolandDate of interview: November 2005Interviewer: Magda Cobel-Tokarska

Mrs. Mass is a wonderful old lady, charming, cheerful and witty. She lives alone in Warsaw.

Following her husband’s death, she has developed an interest in alternative medicine, parapsychology and astrology.

She keeps learning new things. I was entranced by her fascinating stories, interwoven with numerous digressions.

Her story is like herself – full of humor, irony, and tenderness.



Jozef Hen

This is a photo of me from the 2000s. I don’t know who took this picture. It is part of my private archive.

I was a Zionist ever since I turned seven years old. It was humiliating for me that my nation didn't have its own state. There was no talk of anti-Semitism, but I thought a Jewish state should be set up.

I made Zionist speeches when I was seven years old. I would stand on a table in our villa in Michalin and shout: 'Precz z Anglia' ('Down with England'), because England was an opponent then and a lot depended on England.

Rubin Cukier

I don’t know who took this picture and when exactly. As most of our family shots, this one was probably saved thanks to Chawa, my father’s sister, who had left for Argentina before World War II. This picture is a portrait of my father, Rubin Cukier.

Father was born around 1891 in Radzyn. In 1914 he was conscripted into the tsarist army, but he was bought out.

In 1906, as a 15-year-old, after the revolution, he ran away to Warsaw, where he began working in some water-sewage corporation.

Josef Hen with his family

This picture was taken in 1927 in our villa, called Kronowka.

I don’t know who took this photo. As most of our family shots, this one was probably saved thanks to Chawa, my father’s sister, who had left to Argentina.

In the second row from the left we can see my mother, Chawa Cukier, my father, Rubin Cukier, and a woman, who is probably not a member of our family.

In the first row from the left we can see my sister Stella Boren (nee Cukier), me, my brother Hipek Cukier and my sister Mirka Toronczyk (nee Cukier).


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