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This is me after World War II. It’s an informal photo; I don’t remember in what circumstances it was taken. It must have been the early 1950s.

The end of the war found us in Kielce. Almost at once we went to Warsaw, only by a roundabout route, via Lublin. We didn't really know what the point of waiting there was. We felt drawn to Warsaw. On our return we stayed with Lucyna at first. In the beginning I think we were living four to a room at her brother or sister's house. After that we lived a little better, because there were two to a room. Living conditions after the war were hard. Our apartment had been demolished.

I liked it after the war; it was good. I had been liberated, there was justice, you could study, culture was coming back; I liked everything! It was only later that you saw all the negative things. I started having doubts when they merged the parties. Perhaps I was also under the influence of people. I was never particularly strong in politics. I had to listen to others' opinions. Well, no, I've got my own mind, but even so, I always listened to what other people said, people who I trust.

Perhaps there were even thoughts of leaving Poland after the war. My mother had once been a Zionist, so she did think that she might want to go to Israel. But I didn't want to leave, I wanted to study, and my mother was already a widow by then, with no profession, so I had no chance of studying anywhere abroad. Anyway, I had nothing against being here. Later on, in 1950, I got married; perhaps even my husband would have emigrated sooner than me, although he was a Pole. But we didn't go. And that's how it turned out.

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Interviewee

Hanna We