Jozef Seweryn with friends

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  • Photo taken in:
    Krakow
    Country name at time of photo:
    Poland
    Country name today:
    Poland

This is me with my friends. The girl in the center later became my wife. Her maiden name was Jadwiga Lepka. I don’t remember the names of the other people on the photograph. It was taken in Cracow in the 1930s.  

I was a member of the Polish Socialist Party. I joined it when I was 15 years old. I signed up because others were signing up. All of us - the boys from Podgorze - belonged to the PPS. There was nothing else in Podgorze but the PPS. I mean there were other groups - Zionists, Bundists, but they were very weak. We organized 1st May celebrations. Speakers would be invited to come; they explained what the PPS was, that it was an organization acting for the benefit of the working class. My grandmother and grandfather didn't have anything against my joining this party. Many of my grandfather's customers and all of his employees were in the PPS. 

After I graduated from elementary school, I attended a three-year economic school. It was a good school. It cost 25 zloty a month. Part of this amount was covered by my grandfather and I paid some of it myself, from the money I earned at the dentistry supplies store. There were more or less ten Jews out of the 40 students in my class. All were assimilated, dressed in Polish clothing, behaved like Poles, so there were no problems with anti-Semitism. I passed my final exam in 1936. I worked for two years after graduating from school and then I was drafted into the army.

Interview details

Interviewee: Jozef Seweryn
Interviewer:
Zuzanna Solakiewicz
Month of interview:
May
Year of interview:
2004
Warsaw, Poland

KEY PERSON

Jozef Seweryn
Year of birth:
1917
City of birth:
Cracow
Country name at time of birth:
Austria-Hungary
Occupation
before WW II:
Worker at a dentistry supplies store
after WW II:
Worker at an office that assigned apartments, aircraft factory worker, machine factory worker
Family names
  • Previous family name: 
    Kraus
    Year of changing: 
    1942
    Reason for changing: 
    Hiding Jewish identity/nationality

Other Person

Jadwiga Seweryn
Decade of birth:
1920
City of birth:
Cracow
Country name at time of birth:
Poland
Year of death:
1972
City of death:
Warsaw
Country of death:
Poland
Occupation
before WW II:
worked in a bookstore
after WW II:
worked in a bookstore
  • Previous family name: 
    Lepka
    Year of changing: 
    1942
    Reason for changing: 
    Marriage

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