Emanuel Elbinger with his yournger sister, Priwa and their nanny

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  • Photo taken in:
    Nowe Brzesko
    Year when photo was taken:
    1933
    Country name at time of photo:
    Poland
    Country name today:
    Poland

The boy in the white hat is me. The girl in the black dress is our Polish nanny. The little girl is my younger sister, Priwa. The youngest, Lusia, was not born yet. This picture was given to me by the photographer, who had his photographic studio in Nowe Brzesko before the war. His atelier was in a building that belonged to my grandmother, Genendl Elbinger. When we went back to Nowe Brzesko after the war, he gave me some pictures of our family that he had kept though the war.

I think my parents met through matchmakers. It was a very good marriage. I was born in 1931, my sister Pola was born in 1932, and Lusia in 1934. We spoke Polish at home. My parents knew Yiddish, and sometimes spoke it to each other. Mother spoke Polish perfectly; Father sometimes dropped Yiddishisms in, because he'd spoken more Yiddish at home. 

After their wedding Father and Mother set up their own dry goods store. Before that Father had been a glazier, but because he had a brother in Cracow with a cloth wholesale, they decided to get into the same business, because I presume they could get things on credit from him. I don't really know, because I wasn't into the business back then, I was too young. And usually Father bought his goods from his brother, brought them in carts from the wholesale. For the shop my parents rented a house that was even more central on the Square, on the Cracow - Sandomierz road. That house was rented from a Polish Christian family, the Lipnickis. It was a good location, because the biggest business was done at the markets. Before the war there were markets once a week, on Mondays. It's a farming region, so the farmers used to bring their produce, crops, horses, other things, and of course they had the time that day, and they bought everything they needed in the town. Our shop, I think, was quite well stocked. It was one of the bigger shops in Nowe Brzesko. Father and Mother ran it. On market day my parents would get someone in to help because there were so many customers. Mother looked after the shop all day, of course, kept shop. The house too, and the children - sometimes it was too much. So a woman would come in. She just looked after us children. She wasn't permanent, live-in. From time to time, to take us for walks or wherever. No, she wasn't Jewish.

 

Interview details

Interviewee: Emanuel Elbinger
Interviewer:
Jolanta Jaworska
Month of interview:
December
Year of interview:
2005
Cracow, Poland

KEY PERSON

Emanuel Elbinger
Year of birth:
1931
City of birth:
Cracow
Country name at time of birth:
Poland
Occupation
after WW II:
Electrical engineer

Other Person

Pola Elbinger
Jewish name:
Priwa
Year of birth:
1932
City of birth:
Nowe Brzesko
Country name at time of birth:
Poland

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