Irena Wygodzka’s friend Lunia Kronental

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  • Country name at time of photo:
    Occupied Poland 1939-1945
    Country name today:
    Poland

This is a picture of my friend from the camp in Oberaltstadt, Lunia Kronental. I’m not sure where this picture was taken and who took it. I became good friends with some of the girls at the camp, for example with Lunia Kronental. She was from Bedzin. She gave me her picture as a keepsake with the inscription: 'Eni, I want us to be able to recollect these times soon, or maybe forget - which would you prefer? To my friend from factory times. Lunia.' Lunia survived the war. After the war she lived on those conquered lands [so-called regained territories, which used to belong to Germany before WWII, incorporated into Poland after the war]. She got married to a simple tailor, she later went to Canada with him. That's where she died.

In February 1942 I was already at the Oberaltstadt camp. Today it is called Horejsi Stare Mesto, near Trutnov in the Sudeten Mountains. At first it was a labor camp. We were taken to a flax factory, it was called Kluge. The factory produced thread. The work hours were, for example, from 2.30am to 2.30pm. And then you had to clean the camp, scrub the floors, do all kinds of things, peel the turnips. Turnips - the kind you give to cows, that's what we ate. We lived in horrible barracks, full of bugs. There were some 16 girls to a room. The rooms were small, double beds.

It was a camp only for Jews, but around us there were Russians and Frenchmen and English soldiers from Africa. There were Belgians, who, I think, volunteered for that labor. They were not Jews, they were normal people. I don't know where they were living, because we only saw them at the factory.

English soldiers would, from time to time, throw cigarettes to us and out of gratitude I'd throw them pictures of myself and my family, so they wouldn't think we were some criminals, but that normal people had been rounded up at that camp. Those English and French soldiers showed great solidarity with us. Once this Zosia's head was shaved, because they found out that she had been writing a letter to some Frenchman or Englishman. And as a sign of solidarity they all shaved their heads. 

 

 

 

 

Interview details

Interviewee: Irena Wygodzka
Warsaw, Poland

KEY PERSON

Lunia ?
Decade of birth:
1920
Country of death:
Canada
Family names
  • Previous family name: 
    Kronental
    Reason for changing: 
    marriage

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