Irena Wygodzka and her brother Natan Beitner in an agricultural school in Helenowek

This is a picture of me, Irena Wygodzka, and my brother Natan Beitner. It was taken in 1934 when Natan was away at an agricultural school in Helenowek.

After he graduated from seven grades of public school, when Natan was 13 or 14 years old, my parents sent him to an agricultural school in Helenowek near Lodz.

My parents were probably thinking about going to Palestine and wanted Natan to learn about farming, so he'd have a job there. The school in Helenowek was directed by the 'king' of Lodz, Rumkowski.

My brother only spent several months in that school. I remember that I went there to visit him with my parents in the fall and Natan was back in Katowice shortly afterwards. I think he didn't like it much.

In Katowice he was admitted to a technical school, which didn't accept Jews at all. It was the Silesian Technical Research Plant [The Silesian Technical Research Plant opened a school in 1931, the second largest institution of its type in Europe].

It was a very high-standard technical school, which is probably still in existence. Natan tried to get in three times. Each time he passed the exams easily, but they didn't want to admit him. But he was stubborn and they had to finally admit him.

So there were a thousand students in all and two Jews: my brother Natan Beitner and one boy from Bedzin - Dudek Naparstek, that was his name, as I recall it now.

My brother didn't graduate from this school. Natan didn't want to go to Palestine, like my parents and I wanted. He didn't have anything to do with Zionism, he was more of a communist.

Photos from this interviewee