Julian Gringras and a colleague, Rubinsztajn

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  • Country name at time of photo:
    Poland
    Country name today:
    Poland

This is a photograph of me and a colleague of mine, Rubinsztajn. It was taken in the 1950s, maybe in 1960. It could have been after the 1st May parade. I don’t know where we were. Rubinsztajn was a deputy minister of industry. He was in charge of electronics.

I returned from the Soviet Union in 1946. I landed up at the PUR, the State Repatriation Office, I didn't go to Kielce, but was sent to Lodz. And in Lodz I landed a Warsaw contact, as they say; you see in Warsaw in 1946 the authorities of the People's Republic of Poland, PRL, were forming. Then I was summoned to Warsaw by one of my Polytechnic friends who had already taken up posts in the government authorities - or lower down, but high enough up to summon.

And so I went to Warsaw, where I was at once billeted to an apartment on the 6th floor, on Stalowa Street, with a family. Still with my wife. Inseparable by that time, we were. It lasted 63 years, a good spell. And I got a job straight away. At that time the government ministries were being set up in Poland. I was put in power engineering, because in the Soviet Union that's what I'd generally worked in. I was promoted fast, because they lacked people; there weren't any experts, people with experience, and I became someone on the Central Power Engineering Board. I was this chief inspector.

From the beginning of 1947 until the end of 1948 I worked as the head of an investment procurement mission in Czechoslovakia. I built up this little organization, a dozen or so people worked in it. In 1948 I worked in the PKPG [State Economic Planning Committee, the most powerful institution in Poland], in 1949 I was director of the Central Power Engineering Board, and then I moved to work in the heavy plant industry.

I think I had unpleasantness, problems at work as early as 1957. The problems involved my being summoned to a certain institution [the communist party Central Committee] - I was deputy trade minister at the time - and told that I shouldn't be working in that ministry, that I had to transfer to another job, closer to industry, and I think I moved to some other ministry.

In 1968 I wasn't working in the ministry any more, because I'd left it in 1967. I'd stopped being departmental director. It was a professional demotion. I wouldn't say I took it as my biggest defeat, because at that time it still seemed as though there was a light at the end of the tunnel. In 1968 I was already 50-something. I retired at 64. 

Interview details

Interviewee: Julian Gringras
Interviewer:
Anka Grupinska
Month of interview:
July
Year of interview:
2005
Warsaw, Poland

KEY PERSON

Julian Gringras
Year of birth:
1911
City of birth:
Kielce
Country name at time of birth:
Russia
Occupation
before WW II:
University student
after WW II:
Engineer, manager in socialist firms, deputy trade minister

Other Person

Rubinsztajn
Occupation
after WW II:
Departmental head/manager in socialist firms

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