Daniel Bertram

Daniel Bertram

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This is a photo of me, taken in 1954 in Cracow.

Initially after the war I had casual work; it was hard to find a steady job. Amongst other things I took orders for signs that my friend made, and I started training in a watchmaker's workshop. I also worked in the Cracow Vodka and Liqueur Factory. Then I did office work in a few design offices for the coke, construction and mineral industries. After that I found employment in the Wawel Transport Cooperative and for a few years I was in their department in Balice [a village near Cracow]. In subsequent years I was a bookkeeper in the Cepelia Artistic Crafts Foundation and in the company RSW Prasa Ksiazka Ruch. I've been retired since 1985.

After the war I changed my [first] name; I don't remember which year that was: perhaps it was 1954, or earlier. I changed it for a position. I wanted to get a position. A policewoman asked me whether I wanted to change my name. So I said 'Yes, to Daniel'. But when I went to the registry office, she said: 'That's just as bad.' Friends were changing their [family] names. One of them was called Sternrei. So he changed it to Sterynski. Goldwaser changed his name to Garda. In the Jewish Community people weren't interested in whether you changed your name or not. I wasn't interested in who changed their name and who didn't. People who converted must have changed their names if they had Jewish ones. We had this teacher in the fourth or fifth grade, and he said: 'You can say you're a Catholic, but you mustn't say that you believe in Christ.' That's what he said to us.

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Daniel Bertram