Dawid Birencwajg

Dawid Birencwajg
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This is my husband, David Birencwajg. This photo was taken in the 1960s, in Warsaw. In Warsaw my husband was working my husband was working as the head chef of the canteen in the hospital on Woloska Street, later in the Stolica building corporation, not earning much and I would say, 'Listen, I don't have enough to make ends meet.' And he'd say, 'If you keep talking like this I'll get a job that pays even less than this one.' So there was nothing to talk about. I really suffered, I never loaned money. However much I had, that's what I lived for. One evening my husband felt ill, but it quickly passed. Some time later he also wasn't feeling well, the paramedics came and pronounced a heart attack, it turned out it was his second one. But he was the kind of man who didn't worry about his health. I organized his 60th birthday party and told him, 'Go see a doctor.' 'Oh, there's no need to see a doctor, I don't go to any doctors.' He had a third heart attack at night and they took him to hospital. I went there to visit him, I visited him a day before he died. He didn't feel he was dying. He took his false teeth out, because they got broken somehow and told me, 'Go, have them repaired and bring them back at once.' I said, 'They won't do it at once, maybe in the morning.' He said, 'Well, so bring me those teeth back in the morning.' In the morning, at 7am, there was a phone call from the hospital. My husband was in great pain, he didn't call the night doctor, some woman doctor came and gave him a shot to the heart. They didn't have the kind of treatment then as they do today. This was in 1966. So he died. I was left alone in the apartment. How old was Wlodek, my daughter Halina's son, by then? He was in 9th grade, so 15 years old. Halina was divorced by then. And Wlodek said to me, 'Grandma, perhaps we can live together, it would be merrier for us.' So he talked me into it, I agreed to have our two apartments exchanged for one larger one.

Interview details

Interviewee: Gustawa Birencwajg
Warsaw, Poland


Dawid Birencwajg
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after WW II
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Head chef of a canteen

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