Mania Gringras

Mania Gringras

This is a photograph of my youngest sister Mania. It was taken a few years before the war in my brother Artur’s photographic studio, ‘Sztuka,’ in Czestochowa.

My elder brother Artur was really Father's spiritual heir in terms of photography.

Artur got married and moved to Czestochowa, around the turn of the 1920s and 1930s, and built himself a photography studio called 'Sztuka' [Art], before the war. He did well - he even got into Jasna Gora and took photographs of pilgrimages and what have you.

Then he even got into that 'Bromöldruck,' but that was after the war, when he emigrated to Israel, where he had a photography studio too. There he got into another technique, called 'Gummidruck' [gum bichromate] - that technique is still used today by some photographers.

Mania was the last in the line, the ninth child. But by the time she was growing up I was in Warsaw, I hardly met them, except in the vacations, and then very rarely.

Whether Bala, my other sister, and Mania had their admirers, that I don't know. The girls worked in the photography studio; I think they spent some time learning retouching too, and then they worked in Orion. I don't think they had any schooling.

They could read and write, and were good with figures, of course, and spoke proper Polish, but what school they went to I don't know. Both the girls went to the Birkenau camp.

Mania died at the age of 18 or 20. Nobody knew anything about them. They were liquidated by the Germans very quickly.

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