Jerzy Kowalewski with his wife Eleonora and son Jozef

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This is my brother Jerzy with his wife Eleonora and his second son Jozef. Jozef was born in 1947. The photo must have been taken in the late 1940s. I don’t know who took this photo. 

 

My brother Jerzy was a communist. Michal was one, too. Only the oldest one, Bernard, was not. He didn’t belong to any other party either. When Michal and Jerzy started going to some meetings, rallies, my parents were not very pleased. My parents suffered a lot because of my brothers’ involvement in the communist movement.

 

Jerzy was studying at the Faculty of Law at Warsaw University, but when he was in his 4th year, two months before graduation, he was arrested for communist activities. He spent four years in jail. 

 

My parents hired a lawyer for him and very intense efforts were made to shorten his sentence. He didn’t stay in the Zamosc jail for long; they took him to a prison in Drohobycz. It wasn’t a very bad prison, that is, it was a low-security prison. 

 

My sister-in-law’s name was Eleonora. That was the name on her birth certificate. Her family also came from Zamosc. Eleonora was a communist activist. This sister-in-law was raised by the sister of Isaac Leib Peretz, who was like a grandmother to her. Eleonora Epstein’s real grandmother died young. A friend of the family – I.L. Peretz’s sister – Mrs. Goldsztajn took over that role. 

 

I can’t say much about that family, but this grandmother was an exceptional woman. When the Jewish militiamen came to get her to deport her to a death camp, probably the camp in Belzec, she didn’t go with them. She simply told them she wouldn’t go. So they shot her right away. 

 

She had two sons. One was in the Soviet Union, and that’s where he died, and the second one was here, in Poland. He was an engineer. He had two daughters. Their mother was a doctor. Two charming girls. They were living next to us in Zamosc. Both were captured by those Jewish traitors, when their mother and father were not at home. And they both died.

Interview details

Interviewee: Maria Krych
Interviewer:
Agata Gajewska
Month of interview:
October
Year of interview:
2004
Warsaw, Poland

KEY PERSON

Jerzy Kowalewski
Jewish name:
Izrael
Year of birth:
1910
City of birth:
Zamosc
Country name at time of birth:
Russia
Year of death:
2004
City of death:
Warsaw
Country of death:
Poland
Occupation
before WW II:
communist activist
after WW II:
communist activist, journalist
Family names
  • Previous family name: 
    Goldwag
    Reason for changing: 
    Assimilation
    Decade of changing: 
    1940

Other Person

Eleonora Kowalewska
Decade of birth:
1910
City of birth:
Zamosc
Country name at time of birth:
Russia
Country of death:
Poland
  • Previous family name: 
    Epstein
    Reason for changing: 
    marriage
    Decade of changing: 
    1940
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