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elvira kohn

Because she married a non-Jew, she converted to his religion and became Eastern Orthodox. No one in the family opposed. Jovan's father was an Eastern Orthodox priest and he was the one who baptized Olga.

I remember that someone once told me the following anecdote: Jovan's father, while baptizing Olga told her, 'Even though you are now accepting another man's faith, never forget who and what you really are.' Olga survived because she converted. She died in Belgrade around 1990. She had no children.
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In general, I have great respect for the citizens of Dubrovnik in how they treated the Jews during the war. They were very fair to us. I never hid the fact that I was Jewish. There's a well-known Croatian actress from Dubrovnik whose name is Marija Kohn.

Her father married a Catholic woman and converted to Catholicism but didn't change his name. For this reason, the name Kohn was well known in Dubrovnik and when someone heard that my name was Kohn, they automatically considered me a Catholic as well. I always emphasized that I was Jewish though.
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Krystyna Budnicka

I've been a Catholic for a long time. A Catholic Jew. I am consistent in my choice. I come from a very religious family and religious faith is in my genes.
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And anti-Semitism within the Church? That saddens me greatly. But I believe that the Pope's teachings are being increasingly taken to heart. After all, after 2,000 years of anti-Semitism within the Church, it's not easy to change the Church in a very short time. But I believe it will change. I have a dilemma too, not a problem, because I don't find it a problem, but a dilemma, when people ask me to define who I am. Because I am a Jew - that is my nationality, my background, and a Christian - that is my religion - and a Pole - that is my culture. I can live with the problem of my identity, it doesn't worry me. And other people needn't concern themselves with it.
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I stayed with the Grey Nuns for a very long time, up to my grammar school graduation, that is, until 1952. I finished elementary school in 1948 and had to choose a secondary school. I very much wanted to go to the grammar school run by the Nazarene Sisters, but the nuns said that I shouldn't, because I would be ruining my chances of a career. It was at the height of the Stalinist period and a church education was frowned upon. But I insisted. And the nuns were right - later on I had trouble getting a job. At school I was different, and didn't fit in. Not because I was Jewish, but because I was an orphan. The girls who went to that school were from well- off families. They brought white bread rolls with ham, while I had black bread and jam or dripping. I really never felt different because of my Jewishness. That was never an issue, it was something we never talked about - not because I concealed the fact, but because it just wasn't a topic that we discussed.
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The nuns wanted to baptize me right away, in October 1944, but a priest said that he couldn't approve, that baptism could take place only in the event of a life-threatening emergency. 'We shall wait, the war will end soon, she is a big girl and she must decide for herself,' he said. I was baptized in Szczaki Zlotoklos. That was something I really wanted. I was very keen to fulfill all my religious duties conscientiously.
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Janina Duda

Once, in December 1941, one of my friends, Polahovich [a Ukrainian], who was working in the city government, told me, ‘Listen, there is a mass for capturing Moscow, you’re a German government employee, because you work in the grain warehouse. You have to go…’ He told me I had to go, because all the local government employees were going. But why did the government employees have to go? Because the role of the church is to keep a check on people and here the pope was the district chief. And there was also confession, so they could count on finding something out. So I went to the Orthodox church, but because I didn’t know what the liturgy looked like, I watched the president of the cooperative, Mr. Dunchych, who was walking in front of me. He had a Jewish lover; he managed to save her, but the child had to die… And I watched how he made the sign of the cross three times in front of each icon. I did the same as he did, confession as well, I went through everything, just like I was expected to.
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And my closest cousin lives in Lodz, but she married a Pole, like all of us did, and her family is completely Polish. Her son even got married in a church… that’s the end, as they put it, that’s complete assimilation, quite simply.
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Alexandra Ribush

I don't know anything about Uncle Abram's destiny. As a child I heard that he converted to Christianity and was turned out of his parents' house. I was shocked when I heard that but I was too shy to ask about the details. After that he sort of became a member of the Communist Party. I never heard anything about him later.
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jerzy pikielny

A seamstress used to come to our house sometimes. She lived somewhere near Lodz. She was German and a Baptist. She wouldn't refer to Hitler by any name other than 'the Antichrist.' She had a son, older than me, who used to come and teach me carpentry, because I had a carpenter's workbench at home, which I 'inherited' from Uncle Lolek. When the war broke out it turned out the Baptist youth organizations were part of the Hitlerjugend [16].
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Renée Molho

Lily Abravanel was my mother's cousin: her father and my mother's father were brothers. Her father's name was Lazar. Lily went to the Catholic school 'Les Soeurs de Calamari,' and she had been influenced by them. They found her once, wearing a nun's hat [cornet] that she had made herself, and to protect her they sent her to Paris. In Paris she changed her religion, and married a Christian.

She had a daughter, who is a language teacher, and a son, who was working for the French electricity company, and another son, whose occupation I don't know, but he looks just like my uncle Leon.

She never told her children that she was Jewish and now there is a big mess about it because there is a Lazar Abravanel in Israel. He is the grandson of Lazar Abravanel, my mother's grandfather's brother, who in 1918 and 1920 was sent to Turkey with the Greek army and never came back. He deserted and went to Israel and stayed there and got completely cut off from the rest of the family. Now this Lazar Abravanel started looking for his relatives and his family and found out about his roots from Thessaloniki and through the computer [Internet] he was able to trace Lily's children in Paris and this created a whole mess.
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mario modiano

My mother's name was Nella. She was the daughter of Mair Tchenio, of a prominent family from Aragon, in Spain. The family was famous because after the massacres of 1390, part of the Tchenios, or Chenillos as they were called in Aragon, converted adopting the Christian surname of Santangel. One Louis de Santangel, who was purser to the King of Aragon, provided the loans that financed Christopher Columbus' expedition to the New World. When I was a child, my mother used to tell me, 'we are Tchenio but our other name was Santangel.' I didn't understand at the time, but I remembered this when I discovered the story of Louis.
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In August the Italian embassy asked us if we wanted to go to Italy on false papers with Christian names in order to be safe in case something happened to Italy. We refused because Father had already other plans. Italy collapsed on 8th September 1943 and the Germans seized control of Athens and started looking for Jews.
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danuta mniewska

I had very many friends there, Poles, of course, because there were virtually no Jews [15]. We were all roughly the same age. We went to the church for service, that was where young people met. And so I knew all the ceremonies - how to cross yourself, how to pray, how to sing. As far as religion was concerned, I was able to go to the Aryan side right away.
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henryk prajs

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