Fela Baum at the swimming pool

Fela Baum at the swimming pool

This is a photo of my wife Fela Baum. It was taken at our favorite swimming pool in Kielce, a few years before the war.

In Kielce even then there was a beautiful swimming pool that we used to go to. On the outskirts of Kielce, in this young wood. A swimming pool where there was even a diving tower.

And I used to go to that swimming pool with Fela, we would bathe, swim, dive into the water, I even broke my nose, I remember, trying to dive off the springboard.

You didn't feel in that town what you felt in Warsaw. Well, in any case nobody harassed us at the swimming pool. And the war was approaching fast.

I met Fela [Mr Gringras's partner, whom he refers to as his wife, although they never formally married] when she was 17, and I was 23, when I was at the Polytechnic.

I used to go visiting that friend of mine, Baum [Fela's brother]. Well, and I got friendly with the family, somehow. Fela was still at gymnasium.

She was born in 1917, 20 September 1917. She went to Zimnowodzina's [the girls' school in Kielce]. She left school, but she didn't matriculate. That's what I seem to remember.

Fela's father was a tailor and also the co-proprietor of a shop with dress materials. The shop was on the street front and the workshop at the back. It was a large family.

Several of the brothers had a shop together on Kolejowa Street, later Sienkiewicza. They took in work, took measurements and sewed on the spot, in the shop. Her family lived on Czysta Street, later Fosza, in a house that may still be there.

Fela's mom - I don't know what she was called [Balbina], and her father - Szymon. They were probably a few years younger than my parents, but I don't know when my parents were born.

I don't know where Fela's parents came from. My wife's family were religious, but moderately so.

Her father certainly wore a kippah, and probably went to synagogue every Saturday; they lit the candles every Saturday, but there wasn't any particular emphasis on their Jewishness, no.

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