Julian Gringras’s sisters Mania, Bala and Ziuka

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  • Photo taken in:
    Kielce
    Year when photo was taken:
    1930
    Country name at time of photo:
    Poland
    Country name today:
    Poland
    Name of the photographer / studio:
    ‘Moderne’ studio

This is a photo taken in my father’s photografic studio, ‘Moderne,’ in 1930. These are my younger sisters, from left: Mania, Bala and Ziuka.

Ziuka was properly Edzia, in Yiddish Estera, she was my younger sister. During the war she was in Fergana, Soviet Union.

After the war she lived in Israel until she died, at 85, 3 or 4 years ago. She was the only one of the four sisters to survive, because the others died at the hands of the Germans.

Ziuka's husband is Chaskiel Majtek, who lives in Israel, in Holon; he calls me up sometimes.

Next was Bala, or Bela. I think we used to call her Bala, but how it was written I don't know. I remember Bala well. I was very fond of her, a very lively, intelligent girl, active, very handsome, in my view.

Nice eyes, and she had dimples on her face. Mania didn't, nor did Ziuka. Mania was the last in the line, the 9th child. But by the time she was growing up I was in Warsaw, I hardly met them, except in the vacations, and then very rarely.

Whether Bala and Mania had their admirers, that I don't know. The girls worked in the photography studio; I think they spent some time learning retouching too, and then they worked in Orion.

I don't think they had any schooling. They could read and write, and were good with figures, of course, and spoke proper Polish, but what school they went to I don't know.

Both the girls went to the Birkenau camp. Mania died at the age of 18 or 20. Nobody knew anything about them. They were liquidated by the Germans very quickly.

Interview details

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

KEY PERSON

Estera Majtek
Year of birth:
1916
City of birth:
Kielce
Country name at time of birth:
Russia
Year of death:
2000
City of death:
Holon
Country of death:
Israel
Died:
after WW II
Occupation
before WW II:
Worked in her father’s photo studio
Family names
  • Previous family name: 
    Gringras
    Reason for changing: 
    Marriage
    Decade of changing: 
    1930

Other Person

Bala Gringras
Decade of birth:
1920
City of birth:
Kielce
Country name at time of birth:
Poland
Occupation
before WW II:
Worked in her father’s photo studio

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