Janina Wiener with her colleagues from Jagiellonian University in Cracow

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    Ustronie near Lubin
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This picture was taken in front of the Ministry of Higher Education’s Retreat House in Ustronie near Lubin [approx 40 km north of Legnica]. I went there with my  colleagues from the Jagiellonian University for a conference to prepare a syllabus for teaching Russian at university level. From left: Professor Jakubowski, me, Aleksandra Urbanska, and Professor Safarewiczowa. I can’t recall the date, but I think it was in the 1960s.


I left Lwow in 1941 and spent the rest of the war in Russia. I was in Turkestan, in Kazakhstan. I worked as a nurse in an orphanage. I had no previous experience. I was trained. There I met my husband, Maurycy Wiener, and there I got married. The wedding was non-religious. My husband was born on 1st October, 1906 in Cracow. He took a law degree and before the war worked as a lawyer in Cracow.  Because my husband was a Cracovian we repatriated ourselves to Cracow. He was a member of the Cracow bar, he immediately started working at a law firm and earning money.


I wanted to start studying in 1948, but it turned out I was pregnant and I had to postpone those plans. I delivered a boy - my son Jerzy, I brought him up a little bit, and in 1952 I went to the Jagiellonian University. Yes. I chose the easiest option. Being fluent in Russian, I knew I'd easily pass the entrance exams. The fact that I had read so much Russian literature in Turkestan made my studying easier. I completed my studies in 1956 and immediately got a job at the Jagiellonian University's Russian Philology Institute. 


During my studies and even later, I lived a similar life to my parents before the war in Lwow. In the evening, at seven or eight, we'd meet friends at the Europejska café or at Wierzynek. Wierzynek was very fashionable in those days. That kind of life I led for a very long time, in fact for as long as I worked.


Interview details

Interviewee: Janina Wiener
Krakow, Poland


Janina Wiener

Other Person

Aleksandra Urbanska
after WW II:
lecturer in Russian

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