Country name at time of photo:Austria-Hungary, pre 1918Country name today:Poland
This is a photo of my partner Renata Zisman's father Artur Springut, taken in the 1910s. It was probably taken in one of the tourist places in Polish mountains like Poronin, Zakopane or Nowy Targ, but it could also have been taken in Zywiec. On the photo he is wearing traditional mountainer's clothes.
Renata's father came from Poronin. They lived in Silesia, so they spoke German, like all Germans. It was a progressive family. They would go to the synagogue there when it was Pesach, or Yom Kippur. But other than that they didn't keep kosher. Renata's grandmother had kept a kosher household, but they didn't bother. When the war started Renata was 18. Renata's family was sent to the Cracow ghetto. Her parents were taken away to Belzec on 28th October 1942.
My partner Renata was born in Zywiec and had one sister. She lived there with her parents, and her grandparents were there too. When her parents were taken away to Belzec, a friend called Jerzy looked after Renata and her sister Elzbieta. From the ghetto the two girls were both sent to the camp in Plaszow. Soon afterwards Renata and her sister were transferred to Auschwitz-Birkenau. After that Renata was in two more camps in Germany. She stayed together with her sister Elzbieta all the time; they were together in all the camps. Usually families were split up but they managed to stay together until the end. After the end of the war Renata first went back to Zywiec, because it was her hometown. Then she came to Cracow and lived here with her sister, in the home of some servant of her grandparents.