Irena Wygodzka with her friends Mala Lobel and Rutka Reichman

Irena Wygodzka with her friends Mala Lobel and Rutka Reichman

In this picture I’m in Kosciuszki Park in Katowice with my friends: Mala Lobel (first from right) and Rutka Reichman (first from left). The picture was taken in the late 1930s.

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.

When we were children, and later teenagers, we used to go to Kosciuszki Park. There was this special sledding trail there. It was quite far away from the center of the city.

Fairs of industrial products took place in Kosciuszki Park from time to time. There was also Bugla, an outdoor swimming pool, where we used to go to swim. There was a skating rink, where we went skating. We also played ball.

I used to go to the cinema with my brother. It was a huge expense for us, but there was this one teller, who let us in without tickets. There were some cowboy movies, I also went to see 'Ben Hur.’

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