Zuzanna Mensz’ sister Zlatka Rosset with friends in Dubienka

Zuzanna Mensz’ sister Zlatka Rosset with friends in Dubienka

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This is a group of youths from Skryhiczyn. The photo was taken in studio in Dubienka, late in 1920s. In the bottom, first from right is my sister Zlatka, Sara Zlata. She was then 16-18 years old. In the middle is sitting my sister’s future husband Srul Bursztyn. I think, the women on his both sides are his sisters Anka and Dora, but I’m not sure.

We used to go to Skryhiczyn in every spring and leave at the end of summer. Mom had there 17 acres at Skryhiczyn-Folwark. She built a house. A land was leased by family Blander. The whole big family Rottenberg lived in Skryhiczyn and a whole bunch of kids used to come to Skryhiczyn every summer, an awful lot of people, and all of them family. Skryhiczyn is our legend, our happy childhood.

My elder sister was born in 1909 in Volodymir, she was called Sara Zlata, we called her Zlatka. She moved to Warsaw to study when she was 16. She studied Polish history at the Warsaw University. She already had communist sympathies back then. She spent a year in prison for some political affairs. With a sentence like this she was unable to find a work as a teacher. She gave private lessons, she was a very good math tutor. She earned so well on tuition that she was even able to help Mom a little.

During my first year in Warsaw I stayed with Zlatka. Later she moved to Vienna to the man she loved, Srul Bursztyn, who worked there. I think it was in 1937 or 1938. It was an affection dating back to their school years. And anyway, we were friends with his whole family, they lived in Lublin, used to come to Skryhiczyn for the summer. He was a communist, just like her. Right after she'd arrived there was the Anschluss and Hitler took over Vienna. At that time many communists, with the help from various people, were somehow being transported to England. They were given money for the flight which they returned once they'd reached England. Anyhow, she went to England and someone helped her find a job as a maid. Some time later came her fiancé, who already held an engineering degree, and got a job at a factory. They got married just before the war, in 1939. I remember Mother getting the letter with the news of their wedding. She was happy her daughter got married.

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Zuzanna Mensz