Irena Wygodzka with her father Herman Beitner

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  • Photo taken in:
    Katowice
    Country name at time of photo:
    Poland 1919-1939
    Country name today:
    Poland

This is a picture of me with my father Herman Beitner. It was taken in the late 1930s in Katowice, where we were living.

Father was calm, he was good, not talkative, very liberal towards his children, towards the world. He had blond hair, blue eyes. He had a very friendly face.

He wore a suit. He had to dress properly, because he went to courts, for those hearings. He really liked photography. He took pictures whenever he could.

At outings, holidays, at home. He had a camera, he had a darkroom. It was some corner, maybe the servants' room. The camera - one of the more popular ones at the time, Zeiss or Leica.

There was this man, his name was Salpeter, he was going to Palestine as a tourist and he asked Father to lend him that camera. He was an acquaintance, from the same town.

He had a store with ties, scarves and umbrellas. It was 1939. Mr. Salpeter took that camera with him and stayed in Palestine. That's how my dad lost the camera. Father used to collect scissors of all types; there was this album where he, kind of, arranged these scissors.

Father was a member of the General Zionist Organization. He was the treasurer there. My parents wanted to move to Palestine, but they never had enough money for the tickets, to go with the entire family.

So we never left. Zionist views were popular among Father's brothers. Uncle Tobiasz and Uncle Chaim bought some land in Palestine, but somehow they didn't manage to leave on time, because if they had, they would have probably survived the Holocaust.

Interview details

Interviewee: Irena Wygodzka
Interviewer:
Zuzanna Schnepf
Month of interview:
May
Year of interview:
2005
Warsaw, Poland

KEY PERSON

Irena Wygodzka
Jewish name:
Erna (Eni)
Year of birth:
1922
Decade of birth:
1920
City of birth:
Magdeburg
Country name at time of birth:
Germany
Occupation
after WW II:
Technical editor in publishing House
Family names
  • Previous family name: 
    Beitner
    Year of changing: 
    1945
    Reason for changing: 
    Marriage
    Decade of changing: 
    1940

Additional Information

Also interviewed by:
Survivors of the Shoah Visual History Foundation

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