Blima Garfinkiel

Blima Garfinkiel
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This is a photo of my paternal grandmother, Blima Garfinkel (nee Wislicka). I don't know when and in which circumstances it was taken. My paternal grandfather, Sanel Garfinkiel, was born in 1875 already in Zamosc, but his whole family came from Ukraine, from a place called Nezhin, it's somewhere near Chernobyl. He died in 1940 of natural causes. Grandpa was an industrialist and a landowner. He owned a brewery in Zamosc, had an estate in Danczypol, in the Grabowiec commune, a brickyard outside Zamosc - he was a wealthy man. Grandpa Sanel's wife, Blima Wislicka, born in 1875 as well, was killed - almost before my eyes - during the liquidation of the Izbica ghetto in 1942. She was from Lodz, from a Jewish patrician family, sort of. They were in the textile industry, there was the Wislicki & Rozen factory, not quite like Szeibler, but a medium-sized factory. The family was Polonized, assimilated to a large degree, there were converts among them. I have a portrait of my great-grandmother at home, she's wearing something you won't see nowadays. Frills and so on. She didn't wear a wig, she had regular hair. I don't know how my grandparents met. They were not very religious, they only went to the synagogue on high holidays, for example Pesach. I don't remember them going there every Saturday. I would ask the four questions over the seder supper and Grandpa would answer them. It so happened I was the only grandson for both my paternal and maternal grandparents, so on one seder I went to the first Grandpa, and on the second to the other. The food at my grandparents' house was kosher, yet nobody made a fuss if you ate something that was not. Well, on Pesach there would be no bread in the house, of course, but I know Grandpa used to have a piece of sausage every day, or some bacon, things that couldn't have been kosher by definition.

Interview details

Interviewee: Henryk Lewandowski
Anna Szyba
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Warsaw, Poland


Blima Garfinkiel
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Also interviewed by:
USC Shoah Foundation Institute for Visual History and Education
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