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baby pisetskaya

Her son got married and moved to Baku. Later he emigrated to the USA with his family. He was supposed to take his mother there, but then he divorced his wife and remarried.
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Jankiel Kulawiec

I met my wife while I was in Uzbekistan. Her family comes from Siberia, but she was deported back in the 1930s to Uzbekistan. I don't know why; she was a young girl then - perhaps she had been sent to do labor for some family misdemeanors. I know little about my wife's family history. But she simply saved my life. I was already on my last legs in terms of health, hungry, barefoot, I didn't have anyone. I was sick with malaria, and she looked after me there out of pity. No one thought that something would come of it between us. But it did. While we were still in Uzbekistan we had a son, Anatol, and then we came back to Poland together.
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From what I remember of Father telling us, he met my mama in Warsaw when he went there to look for work. I don't know exactly when that was, but Mama used to go to Warsaw too - to work too, so that must have been how it was.
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Mico Alvo

I had a girlfriend in Athens when I was still working at the Air Force Ministry. It was something strange. There was a kiosk just opposite. And inside the kiosk was a very beautiful girl. I was with Karazisis, just the two of us. He was the supervisor. When we didn't have work we would hang about. She was looking at us, too. We slowly started smiling at each other. We were supposedly going to the kiosk to buy the newspapers and we finally met, and had a relationship in the end. That was a real relationship. It lasted for as long as I stayed in Athens.

We didn't have bachelor's rooms, they didn't exist back then. You couldn't go to a hotel, except if you went to disreputable ones, so we wouldn't go anywhere. At night we would go to the park. When it was dark, in Zappeion. Zappeion had many places for couples to hide. We also had the Department for Morals back then. Sometimes as we were sitting there in the dark someone would come holding a lantern etc. But I was in uniform, and I told him to leave me alone, not to disturb me.

In the beginning we were flirting; later she admitted that she was married. And that's when we carried on with the relationship since there no longer was an obstacle. That disappointed me then, it was a disappointment. She came from somewhere around Thiva. The fact that I was a Jew and she was a Christian never played a role in our relationship. She was younger than me, much younger. How could I have imagined that she was already married? I was around 22 or 23. She must have been around 19-20. She was a pretty girl. She was a village girl.
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Rafael Genis

In 1953 I met my fate. At that time I was working in the road department and we were building the road Klaipeda-Kaunas. I was in the town of Linkuva rather often as we had a machinery site there. Once I was driving in a car and saw a girl walking along the road. She asked for a lift. Her house was about five kilometers from Linkuva. I gave her a lift and went to work. When I was driving back I saw her standing there again. The lady said that she worked as a maid in Linkuva. Then I saw her again, and even drove her home. This is how we met. I liked her instantly and I came to meet her parents. They liked me at once though they were Lithuanians and I was a Jew. They didn't even think of my nationality. I took the young lady to Telsiai and we had our marriage registered. We have been together since then.
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When I came back from the war, I found a Lithuanian girlfriend, who I had been dating before the war. It turned out that during the occupation she had relationships with men and even gave birth to a daughter. I didn't want to see her, although she was offering to leave everything for me. I had been lonely for many years.
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At that time the military unit, located 23 kilometers away from Rietavas, had a vacant position of a mechanic. I went there and was hired right away. My salary was 450 litas per month. I rented a room not far from the military unit. I went home to Rietavas only over the weekend. I gave almost all my salary to Mother. Here I started studying Russian and soon I could speak with my pals fairly fluently. I was a mature and materially independent young guy. I even had a Lithuanian girlfriend, whom I indented to marry in the future.
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Janina Duda

So this is how we met in the Polish partisan headquarters, I had been in the Soviet partisan forces, I was staff officer of the Grunwald brigade, which was supposed to cross the River Bug. And this is how the two of us got together.
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And that was where I met my first husband. I always had his photographs with me when I was in the partisan troops. He was the best soccer player, left striker, Janek, that is Jankiel Baran.

He was a very well known athlete – he was one of the best soccer players in all of Belarus. I only lived with him for a month. I didn’t want to have a rabbinical wedding, so I only had a civil wedding and I announced it to my parents. Father was outraged, but I only said that, Father can believe whatever he wants to believe, but he can’t force me to do it. I explained that a married couple is a social unit, that this has nothing to do with faith. But my family somehow got involved, somehow they arranged it and organized a wedding for me.
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Anyway, I had an admirer at that time; his name was Josl Laks. And in 1935 he left for Israel. At that time a lot of Zionist youth left for Israel [then Palestine]. There is a Russian song ‘khodit parim na zakadye vozlye doma moyevo,’ – ‘a boy walks around my house at sunset.’ And he walked around my house. I didn’t want him. Because I didn’t want to leave. I didn’t feel a bond with all that [with Jewry]. I left Jewry and joined TUR and that was my community. After the war, when I was in Israel, my friend Estera Klawir and her husband Lang Lejben told me that this boy came back to Poland in 1939 looking for me, he wanted to convince me to leave with him. He died in Lublin, in Majdanek, together with his parents.
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This boyfriend of mine, Wiktor, used to cook potatoes for me. I didn’t know if I was supposed to add salt or sugar. But it so happened that in 1937 I had to break off the engagement, because I ended up in jail myself and I didn’t know what would happen later. His parents really wanted him to marry rich, because they had a glove workshop and they weren’t doing very well. I understood the situation and, through Mother, I passed the news to him that he was free.
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I also had a fiancé, an official one, because his father and my father had already arranged our wedding, but it was love. He was one of the handsomest, most beautiful Jewish boys in Lublin, Wiktor Szwed. His mother wasn’t very keen on me becoming her daughter-in-law, because I was a poor girl. But his daddy thought that I could earn money, work, and he liked me.
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There were no differences then [between Jewish and Polish youth]. I had an admirer, he belonged to a corporation [Corporations] [15] – at KUL [Katolicki Uniwersytet Lubelski, ‘Catholic University of Lublin’]. He had two friends; all three of them wore corporation caps. When I went out with one of them, then my friends would be amazed – how could I? With a boy from a corporation?

And this corporation boy came to Ha-Koach with me, played ping-pong with me, we went dancing at the Jewish students’ club on Lubartowska Street in Lublin. So these divisions [contemporary separation of the pre-war Jewish and Polish worlds] that some people want to create now artificially, didn’t really exist.
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Then Fania got married. Her sweetheart, Gorzyczanski, left somewhere and she married his friend – Mosze Rojtman.
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He said he married Grandmother, because the match had been made, but he was in love with a different woman, he liked the other one more, but then the kids were born… Grandpa was such a great guy!
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