Jakub Bromberg’s son by the grave of his grandmother

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This is my son at the Jewish cemetery in Lodz, by the grave of his grandmother. The photo was taken in Lodz in the 1950s. I was probably the one who took it.

My son wasn't raised in a traditional way, like I was. He went to a public Jewish school in Lodz. It was the Peretz school. It was located on 13 Wieckowskiego. It was a Jewish school, but they taught in Polish. They only taught Yiddish twice a week. So my son could write, but he didn't understand Yiddish. Anyway, I spoke Polish with him at home. There was no cheder then. There were communists here, no one taught religion. Anyway, I never taught him that, as a Jew, he should be better than his friends. I didn't teach him hatred, but tolerance: there's a good Jew and a bad Jew, a good Pole and a good German. My son didn't belong to any organizations, only to the Youth Cultural Center.

He was difficult to raise, disobedient. When he was growing up, he was eager to get in a fight. He didn't know what he was doing, he'd later apologize. That's what the doctors told me: that he was growing up too quickly. One time I was coming home, I noticed lots of neighbors in front of the house. 'Mister, where were you?' 'What happened?' It turned out that he was shouting that they're beating daddy. He had opened the window and shouted: 'They're beating daddy, beating daddy, they'll kill him, they're beating him!' When I came in, he said that it was only a dream. He opened the window and shouted into the backyard. He's resourceful, talented, but he's got a difficult temperament. But I loved him so much. We slept in the same room. I was the one who bathed him, I washed his clothes, took him to all these theaters. When he was leaving for summer camp, I'd see him off. I took him to school on my bicycle. I picked him up from school. We used to ride on the motorcycle everywhere. I thought I had a genius at home. A talented, beautiful boy. 


Interview details

Interviewee: Jakub Bromberg
Judyta Hajduk
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Lodz, Poland

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