Danuta Mniewska with two students in Germany

Danuta Mniewska with two students in Germany
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  • Photo taken in:
    Paderborn
    Year when photo was taken:
    2004
    Country name at time of photo:
    Germany
    Country name today:
    Germany
This is me in Germany in 2004. This photo was taken during my meeting with young people in Paderborn. I am standing here with two students of Gymnasium Delbrich. The board with my name and my personal deatils is behind me. I never encountered any anti-Semitism directed against me after the war. I never went around with a placard saying I was a Jew, but everyone knew; it was no secret. I currently hold the position of treasurer with the veterans, but I want to leave them and move to the TSKZ library. Its manager has died, she was 95, active until the last moment. Someone has to carry out the stocktaking, I'll gladly do it, for free, of course, I need no remuneration. I simply want to be doing something. After all, we are the last Jews here. When trips to Germany were being organized, I accidentally joined one of those, in 2001. I went there a total of three times to meet young people, and I loved it. After so many years I had the cheek to conduct those meetings in German - and I did great. I had such good contact with those young people, saw they were interested, and I felt satisfaction that I was doing something good. I told them about my wartime experiences. I feel a very strong bond with Jewry. Those are two different things - religion and being part of a nation. I'll put it like Tuwim: I feel Jewish not because of the blood of my veins but because of the blood that has been shed. This is a completely different story, this is an incredible bond, that you lost everyone only because they happened to be Jews. And betray them?! How can you conceal your descent, deny, disown your family, relatives?? It has always been in me and will always be, and I'll never abandon it. But still - despite the tragedy that I experienced - I wouldn't give away a single hour of my life. Not a single hour.

Interview details

Interviewee: Danuta Mniewska
Interviewer:
Maria Koral
Month of interview:
March/April
Year of interview:
2006
Warsaw, Poland

KEY PERSON

Danuta Mniewska
Year of birth:
1925
City of birth:
Grabow near Lodz
Country name at time of birth:
Poland
Occupation
after WW II:
Nurse, knitter, theater actress, owner of an apple orchard
Family names
  • Previous family name: 
    Mniewska
    Year of changing: 
    1942
    Reason for changing: 
    Marriage
  • Previous family name: 
    Rozenowicz
    Reason for changing: 
    Remarriage
    Decade of changing: 
    1950s
  • Previous family name: 
    Dejmek
    Reason for changing: 
    Divorce
    Decade of changing: 
    1970s

Additional Information

Also interviewed by:
USC Shoah Foundation Institute for Visual History and Education
Date of interview:
1990s

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