Leopold Sokolowski

This is me, Leopold Sokolowski, in Poznan in 2005.

My dreams came true and I went to Israel twice. I was an active member of the Jewish Veterans organization. I am a member of TSKZ, but I've stopped going there. Nobody wants anything from me and I don't want anything from anybody. And I am very aware, even if I still want to live very much, that I am ending. Recently I lost 10 to 12 kilograms. I'm not naïve, I know what that means. I don't know, maybe I'll live a year, maybe five? That's what my life is like.

Right now I am somewhat sensitive, maybe oversensitive on the issue of anti-Semitism. When I read newspapers or watch the news, that's what I'm looking for. It's a complex, unfortunately. I've suffered too much for being a Jew. The Germans call it 'der Zeitzeuge,' witness of history. But I say, I'm not a witness of history, I'm history's active participant. I haven't stood on the side watching people suffer, but I suffered, too. I haven't read about someone getting killed, but my family was murdered. But I don't have a feeling of hatred and I don't mind German.

I am a member of the Jewish community to keep up the tradition. I revealed that I can read Hebrew texts, so I can read the Sabbath prayer in the synagogue. I am oversensitive when it comes to anti-Semitism. I married a woman I loved. I still love her, but the love of an 80-year-old is different from that of a 20-year-old. I have two children whom I love very much and who are good to me. I have grandchildren: 5 grandchildren and one great-granddaughter. And I am 81. It's my last stage. I can't reproach myself when it comes to my life.