Julian Gringras and his wife Fela Baum

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  • Photo taken in:
    Karczowka
    Year when photo was taken:
    1938
    Country name at time of photo:
    Poland
    Country name today:
    Poland

This is me and my wife Fela. We are out walking just outside Kielce, near the monastery in Karczowka. It could have been 1937 or 1938.

At the time I was studying in Warsaw but sometimes I went home. I don’t remember why I was home that time.

My future brother-in-law, Mosze Baum, and I sat for the Polytechnic. Why? I don't know what drove me.

180 boys sat for the first year, about 10 percent of whom were Jews. So something in the way of numerus clausus did exist. Not nullus but clausus.

I came to Warsaw in 1931 or 1932 and we took a lodging, a room with Madame Fürst. I think Mrs. Fürst was a Jew. She was round about 60 or so then.

She was a peculiar person, originally came from Germany, spoke fluent German, good Polish, sometimes told these not particularly refined anecdotes, a bit coarse.

Our floor was the 6th floor, a little room. It was on the main street, Marszalkowska. In the courtyard, of course, not at the front, but in the courtyard, no elevator, but we had a superb view from there.

From our window you could see the Cedergren, the former telegraphic switchboard on Zielna Street, it's the Nissenbaum Foundation today.

And we used to flirt with the telephonists through the window, at a distance of a good 100 meters.

I didn't have much of a social life during my studies. Those matters connected with politics were very absorbing. I came into contact with the socialist organization OMS Zycie at the Polytechnic.

Both Jews and Poles belonged to Zycie; the Poles were usually from proletarian backgrounds, as you used to say. Later on I was also a member of the Communist Union of Polish Youth.

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
Decade of birth:
1910
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

Fela Baum
Year of birth:
1917
Decade of birth:
1910
City of birth:
Kielce
Country name at time of birth:
Russia
Year of death:
1997
City of death:
Warsaw
Country of death:
Poland
Died:
after WW II
Occupation
after WW II:
Housewife

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