Anna Mass today

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It’s me, Anna Mass today. I live in Warsaw. I am alone. We spent almost fifty years together with my husband and we lived in harmony. He really was a good man, my father was right. My intuition that he'd be my husband proved true. My husband died  in 1993.

Poland today... it’s not so simple. Young people today have no idea what communism was about, they only want to hear about the empty store shelves. But everyone had a job. 'Do or don't, it's two thousand every month.' Everyone had an apartment, you got it for free. I had a month's summer leave, went on vacation. As a non-working mother with two children. Only they didn't let us go abroad. Jews weren't allowed to go abroad. My husband worked at the Office of the Council of Ministers, and if he's a Jew, then certainly a Zionist. But he never joined the party. People believe today that it was Solidarity that restored capitalism in Poland. Solidarity wanted communism with a human face. 'Socialism yes, distortions no.' And young people today are for what's happening, and the old are against it. But we're passing away anyway.

I'm already old, I'll be 85 in February 2006! Isn't that old? I'm also a war veteran today for spending all those years in the Soviet Union. I'm not one of the Children of the Holocaust , I was grown-up. Though I was lazy all my life, I never had time to yield to laziness. At first I studied, then I went to work, worked with the crochet, knitted. You made a shawl collar, kimono sleeves - a dressing gown. A great lady, upon getting up from bed or when she was sick, put on a dressing gown. The material cost me two zlotys, and I put that into a shop for ten. And I kept doing something. If I had any free time, I liked to read. Then there was my husband to take care of, the house… Now that I've been left alone I no longer have to do anything, I will prepare food for several days in advance, won't I? I haven't had to clean either now that I don't have a dog anymore. I'll vacuum clean once a week. So I can finally indulge in laziness. I have the right to do that now, haven't I?

Interview details

Interviewee: Anna Mass
Marta Cobel-Tokarska
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Warsaw, Poland


Anna Mass
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before WW II:
Milliner apprentice
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