Henryk Prajs and his daughter Malgorzata

Henryk Prajs and his daughter Malgorzata
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  • Photo taken in:
    Gora Kalwaria
    Country name at time of photo:
    Poland
    Country name today:
    Poland
This photo was taken in my house in Gora Kalwaria, maybe ten years ago. This is me and my daughter Malgosia. She is holding a photo of our family: she, me, and my wife. Malgonia was then maybe 12 years old on that photo she's holding. We got married in 1949. My wife was called Czeslawa Maria Wasilewska. She was eight years younger than me. We were an exemplary couple, we lived together for 41 years. She was Catholic and it didn't bother me one bit. We only have one daughter, Malgonia [from Malgorzata], my wife couldn't have any more children. I never kept it secret I was a Jew, but she didn't see that Jewishness in the house. We celebrated the Catholic holidays. Immediately after the war I worked on my own, and later in a tailors co-operative. I earned pathetically little there, 2,000 zlotys. After seven years of that I started my own tailoring business. Later I completed a technical high school and took up horticulture. My father used to sell orchards, so I knew something about it, my father-in-law and my brothers-in-law were farmers and gardeners, so I thought I'd learn, and so I did. I planted some trees, and they fruited wonderfully, I had beautiful fruits. I built a house in 1960. My wife worked in a shop at first and later in the community cooperative, selling coal, and finally as a deputy manager of a restaurant in Gora Kalwaria. She then retired. She died, my poor thing, in 1990. We have three grandchildren, Mateusz, Aleksandra, and Jula. We've worked hard, we've made our way, I've been respected and still am. I had a good life. My house is cultured, open, if a Jew comes knocking, I'll let him in, if a priest, I'll let him in as well. Our parish priest is a great friend of mine, we speak like father and son, he respects me and vice versa.

Interview details

Interviewee: Henryk Prajs
Interviewer:
Aleksandra Bankowska
Month of interview:
January
Year of interview:
2005
Gora Kalwaria, Poland

KEY PERSON

Henryk Prajs
Year of birth:
1916
City of birth:
Gora Kalwaria
Country name at time of birth:
Germany
Occupation
before WW II:
Tailor
after WW II:
Tailor

Other Person

Malgorzata Prajs
Jewish name:
Froim Fiszel
Year of birth:
1950
City of birth:
Gora Kalwaria
Country name at time of birth:
Poland
Occupation
after WW II:
Engineer

Additional Information

Also interviewed by:
USC Shoah Foundation Institute for Visual History and Education
Date of interview:
1997

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