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Irena Wygodzka in the Tatras

This is a picture of me, Irena Wygodzka, taken in 1958 in the Polish Mountains, in Dolina Koscieliska.

There is a story connected with this picture. My father once took a 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 in 1958. Father wasn't there any longer, but the picture has remained and so has the rock.

Irena Wygodzka in Chylice on holidays

This is a picture of me, taken on holiday in Chylice in 1956.

1956 was a year of political turmoil. I wasn't involved politically. I wasn't in the Party, but I didn't rebel against the authorities either. I didn't go to all those discussions at the writers' club. That was my husband's domain.

My husband was in the Party. After Khrushchev's declaration at the Twentieth Party Congress his eyes were opened. He didn't return his party membership card, but he openly spoke his mind during meetings.

Irena Wygodzka with her husband Stanislaw Wygodzki and their son Adam Wygodzki

This is a picture of me, with my husband Stanislaw Wygodzki and our son Adam. It was taken in 1956 in Chylice.

In 1952 I gave birth to Adam. Later to my daughter, Ewa. She is 3 years younger than Adam. Almost to a day. They're all born on the 13th of January. My husband on the 13th, Ewa on the 13th, Adam on the 14th.

My husband and I never concealed our identity. My husband wrote about Jewish issues, about the Holocaust. Everyone knew he was a Jew. Our friends were also Jewish, but we were in touch with some Poles as well.

Irena Wygodzka with her husband Stanislaw Wygodzki

This is a picture of me, Irena Wygodzka, with my husband Stanislaw Wygodzki. It was taken in 1956 in Chylice.

My husband was working at the Ministry of Culture for some time, later only at home. All he'd do was write. I don't remember when he stopped working at the Ministry.

He wrote by hand, later typed it on a typewriter. He asked me to proofread his writing, I did the editing, later typed it on the typewriter. And after he submitted it at the publishing house, I'd do the subsequent revisions, which he checked.

Irena Wygodzka in Zakopane

This is a picture of me, taken on holiday in Zakopane in 1955.

When we arrived in Poland in 1947 we were forced to change our personal data. The authorities explained that first and last names should be Polish and not other. Other meant Jewish. There was even an ordinance about this.

My husband changed his name to Stanislaw and I - to Irena. As the names of my parents I put: Barbara and Henryk Lewicki, instead of Beitner, and of my husband's: Barbara, nee Balicka, and Ignacy.

Irena Wygodzka with her husband Stanislaw Wygodzki

This is a picture of me with my husband Stanislaw Wygodzki. It was taken in 1947 in Szklarska Poreba.

I met my husband in Germany, still in 1945. I was at the camp in Oberaltstadt with his wife, Rena Domb. We were friends with Rena. She told me about him, about her family. And right after the war ended, Rena went to Poland and I stayed.

In Jordanbad I found out about Wygodzki, that he was in hospital. I went there to pass on Rena's greetings. He was in hospital in Gauting, sick with tuberculosis. That's how we met. Well, and we fell in love.

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