Irena Wygodzka with her friend Hela Hass

Irena Wygodzka with her friend Hela Hass

This is a picture of me, Irena Wygodzka, taken with my childhood friend Hela Hass. It was taken in Katowice, in the 1930s.

Obviously, it must have been summer, because we are both wearing bathing suits. I am the one on the right.

I had several friends at school: there was Mala Lobel, Hanka Urbach, there was Rutka Reichman, Mina Schif, Hela Hass. All of us, with the exception of Mina, were in love with this boy from our class. His name was Natan Rozenzweig.

He was charming, nice, intelligent, wise. I think I even made out with him somewhere in the park. Those were very immature feelings, but they did bind us, because we stayed in touch for a long time.

Natan was in the ghetto in Warsaw, he wrote me that he was sick with typhus. I even sent him a typhus vaccine. He died in the ghetto.

Most of my friends were in Akiba - a Zionist youth organization, so I also joined it. I was in touch with my girlfriends for many years.

My best friend Hela Hass was in Siberia during the war. We sent packages to her from Vilnius, from the kibbutz, pictures and greetings. She survived, got married, she was in Israel and died a few years ago.

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