Beniamin Zylberberg

  • Photo taken in:
    Year when photo was taken:
    Country name at time of photo:
    Poland, 1918-1939
    Country name today:

This is me at age 10. The photo was taken in Krasnik in 1926.

My official name is Boleslaw Janowski, but I was born Beniamin Chaim Zylberberg on 19th February 1916 in Krasnik, Lubelski. I changed my name after the war to make my life in a non-Jewish society easier. 

My earliest memories go back to 1920, when during the Polish-Bolshevik War the Bolsheviks came almost into Krasnik. The people in our town made themselves all kinds of shelters. In our house we made our attic into a shelter. I remember waiting in the attic with my family for the front to pass. 

I know Yiddish not from cheder but because we spoke Yiddish at home. When I was 16 or 17 I read an awful lot in that language. And I started to read when I was about eight or ten, with the Yiddish classics: Mendele Mokher Seforim, Sholem Aleichem, and Isaac Leib Peretz. To this day I read and have a lot of books in Yiddish at home. It was thanks to elementary school, where I started going in 1924-25, that I learned some Polish. \

I completed seven grades of elementary school. Already at age nine or ten I started working at my father's workshop. He was a poor Jew and couldn't afford to pay any assistants. So when I started work in the workshop, Mr. Pytlakowski agreed that I could attend evening classes at the elementary school. So in the mornings I worked in the workshop, and in the evenings I studied. I went to school until March 1935, with two short breaks. 


Interview details

Interviewee: Boleslaw Janowski
Jacek Borkowicz
Month of interview:
Year of interview:
Warsaw, Poland


Boleslaw Janowski
Jewish name:
Year of birth:
City of birth:
Country name at time of birth:
before WW II:
Manual laborer
after WW II:
Family names
  • Previous family name: 
    Year of changing: 
    Reason for changing: 
    Hiding Jewish identity

More photos from this country

Passport of Alfred Borowicz
Michal Friedman
Waiting for the Pope to meet the Jewish community representatives in Warsaw

Read more biographies from this country

glqxz9283 sfy39587stf02 mnesdcuix8
glqxz9283 sfy39587stf03 mnesdcuix8