Anna Mass in Dzierzoniow

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It’s me in Dzierzoniow, I was pregnant in this time, it is 1946.

We left Ukraine in 1946. They said if you couldn't prove you were Polish, you couldn't go. And they had taken whatever IDs we had. Only I had hidden the medical insurance ID. When I showed it to them, I though they'd kill me [out of wrath]. The NKVD I mean. But they couldn't do anything. And so we returned home. They sent us to Lower Silesia, to Rychbach… Originally the town had a different name, then it was called Rychbach, and eventually it was renamed to Dzierzoniow. 

Very many Jews had come from the Soviet Union, and Dzierzoniow was full of them.

My husband and I got married after returning to Poland. And a daughter was already under way. I believed we should have four children. Because if my husband's sisters have no kids, I should have more, but my husband didn't want to. I had light deliveries, could go on. But my husband worked, and I didn't. He provided for us. That's how it looked. I have two daughters, Irena and Marysia, and three grandchildren. Irena was born 30th October 1946, and Marysia 18th April 1949. When I was pregnant with my second daughter - in Dzierzoniow, after the war - one of the tenants in our house was a young man who was a shochet and also made circumcisions for the whole Wroclaw province. And he asks me, 'What will you do if it's a son?' And I say, 'There'll be no circumcision.' The war taught us that it's a distinguishing mark. If I lived in Israel, among Jews - yes. But here - no. How many Jews on the Aryan side died, perished because of that? I thought his eyes would pop out, so angry he was at me for saying that. Well, but I delivered a daughter and the case was closed.

Irena completed a high school, and Marysia has a law degree from the Warsaw University. And she has also recently completed a two-year psychology course. Irena is a healer and works three times a week in her son's shop. Marysia held a directorial position at the bank PKO SA [one of the biggest banks in Poland], and today she's retired and she's involved in… things of beauty, her latest hobby are watercolors. Irena has one son, Radoslaw Adam Zabawa. He was born in 1978. He runs a store called Fraida where you can buy all kinds of New Age stuff, for healers, and so on. He completed a high school but didn't want to take the graduation exams. Marysia has two kids, Katarzyna Liwia Bucyk, born in 1977, and Marek Winicjusz Bucyk, born in 1981. 


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Interviewee: Anna Mass
Marta Cobel-Tokarska
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Warsaw, Poland


Anna Mass
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Milliner apprentice
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