Alfred Borowicz's fake document of baptism

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  • Photo taken in:
    Lvov
    Country name at time of photo:
    Poland
    Country name today:
    Ukraine
This is the false document of my baptism, issued by my friend Jan Gustkowicz, a priest in Lwow in the 1940s. At some point the Soviets started the so-called passportization, people were being issued Soviet passports. Whoever couldn't prove to be a local was classified as a refugee and a potential spy. Such people were forbidden by law from living closer than 1,000 kilometers to the state border. Consequently, they were sent to Siberia. Your ID bore the stamp identifying you as a 'paragraph 16' which meant you were slated for deportation. To avoid that, you had to prove you were a local, that is, have a permanent address there and an ID or a birth certificate from there. The address I had from my student years. I went to the ladies where I had lived in lodgings as a student and they gladly took me in. My ID and birth certificate, in turn, were from Wieliczka. They had classified me as a refugee. I went to Gustkowicz, my friend working as curate at the Maria Magdalena church, and he says, 'listen, I shouldn't really give you a false birth certificate because I'm a state official, but this is not any authority for me, it's an occupation, so I have no scruples.' And I got the certificate.

Interview details

Interviewee: Alfred Borowicz
Warsaw, Poland

KEY PERSON

Alfred Borowicz
Year of birth:
1909
City of birth:
Wieliczka
Country name at time of birth:
Austria
Year of death:
2006
City of death:
Warsaw
Country of death:
Poland
Died:
after WW II
Occupation
before WW II:
Engineer
after WW II:
Engineer
Family names
  • Previous family name: 
    Horowitz
    Reason for changing: 
    Hiding Jewish identity/nationality
    Decade of changing: 
    1940

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