Irena Wojdyslawska with her mother Chawa and sister Franciszka

Irena Wojdyslawska with her mother Chawa and sister Franciszka

This is me, my mother and my sister. My mother is sitting in the middle, my sister - from the left and I - from the right.

The photo was taken when I was 7 maybe 8 years old, so in 1929 or 1930, in Lodz, in some studio, but I don’t remember where.

I was born on May 9th 1921, in a house on 1 Maja Street 9, where I lived until we moved out to the ghetto. That was my aunt's house. We had three rooms and a kitchen, arranged one behind the other.

And when Father was starting out with his business, the tailoring workshop was located in the third room. Later it was my sister's and my room.

There were mostly middle class Jews living in that tenement house. They were assimilated people. The tenement house was located opposite Izrael Poznanski's Palace, on Gdanska Street.

Our parents were very tolerant when they were raising us.

Mother's name was Chawa. I don't know where she was born; I do know that her parents came from Zychlin. But whether she was born in Lodz or Zychlin, this I do not know.

She had numerous siblings - 5 sisters and 4 brothers. My mother never went to school. She had a teacher. She studied, what did she study? Well, anyway she could spell correctly. She could also count, because she helped father in his business. She knew Yiddish, because although

Polish was spoken at home, parents sometimes spoke Jewish to each other. Until she got married, she worked in her father's brother's factory, that is my grandfather's brother's.

I think his name was Salomon and the factory was some kind of a textile workshop. Later Mother only kept house. Just like her siblings, she was not a religious person.

Mother was gassed in 1944 in Auschwitz. She was 56 years old then.

Open this page