Leopold Sokolowski at the Jewish Community

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  • Photo taken in:
    Poznan
    Year when photo was taken:
    2005
    Country name at time of photo:
    Poland
    Country name today:
    Poland

 

This is me, Leopold Sokolowski, in Poznan’s Jewish Community. The photo was taken in 2005.

Obviously it is difficult in a mixed marriage to keep up either Jewishness or Christianity. That is why my son has been raised without religion and so was my daughter. My daughter joined a Catholic family, because she fell deeply in love with a boy who was, and still is, a strong believer. They have a good marriage, which has lasted already 30 years. My son's marriage is a little longer: 32 or 33 years. My son is an atheist, my daughter's house is Catholic and we participate in different events at both. We even participated in one Christmas Eve. We usually go away for the first or second day of Christmas Holidays. When we were over there at Christmas, my son-in-law read something from some Bible. He tolerates me. He knows his father-in-law is a Jew and has nothing against that. Very well, then I have nothing against him. He was raised like that; it's his right.

Right now I am somewhat sensitive, maybe oversensitive on the issue of anti-Semitism. When I read newspapers or watch the news, that's what I'm looking for. It's a complex, unfortunately. I've suffered too much for being a Jew. The Germans call it 'der Zeitzeuge,' witness of history. But I say, I'm not a witness of history, I'm history's active participant. I haven't stood on the side watching people suffer, but I suffered, too. I haven't read about someone getting killed, but my family was murdered. But I don't have a feeling of hatred and I don't mind German.

I am a member of the Jewish community to keep up the tradition. I revealed that I can read Hebrew texts, so I can read the Sabbath prayer in the synagogue. I am oversensitive when it comes to anti-Semitism. I married a woman I loved. I still love her, but the love of an 80-year-old is different from that of a 20-year-old. I have two children whom I love very much and who are good to me. I have grandchildren: 5 grandchildren and one great-granddaughter. And I am 81. It's my last stage. I can't reproach myself when it comes to my life. 

Interview details

Interviewee: Leopold Sokolowski
Interviewer:
Agata Patalas/Joanna Fikus
Month of interview:
May
Year of interview:
2005
Poznan, Poland

KEY PERSON

Leopold Sokolowski
Jewish name:
Pynchas
Year of birth:
1924
City of birth:
Nowy Targ
Country name at time of birth:
Poland
Occupation
after WW II:
Mechanic
Family names
  • Previous family name: 
    Federgrün
    Year of changing: 
    1947
    Reason for changing: 
    Hiding Jewish identity/nationality

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