Maria Krych with her son Michal Krych

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This is my eldest brother, Bernard Goldwag. Actually, he was called Dow-Ber, but very soon everyone in the familly called him Bernard. At the time the photo was taken, Bernard was probably 1 year old. I don’t know who took this photo.


When my parents got married, they went to Zamosc. Father was a talented merchant, very talented. When he started his own business he worked in the wood industry in Zamosc. He was doing quite well for himself. He made good money, but I don’t know exactly how much. 


Mother kept house, she didn’t work. She was an excellent housekeeper. At some point she taught herself how to sew and bought a sewing machine. She sewed for the entire closer and more distant family. But she didn’t get any money for that. 


Four children were born shortly afterwards, so she had her hands full. The oldest son was born in 1909. His name was Bernard. It was a Polonized name. Of course, he had a Jewish name on his birth certificate, it was Dow, Dow-Ber. The second son was called Izrael. After the war he changed it to Jerzy. He was born in 1910. The youngest one, Michal, was born in 1914. I was born in 1913. They named me Perla. 


During our gymnasium years, we went for a vacation each year. We’d go for the entire summer holidays, that is, for three months. We would go to Krasnobrod, Jozefow and other towns nearby Zamosc. Father would always rent a summer house for us there. Those were holidays in the countryside. We would go for walks, in the forest... like children on vacation. But we only went with Mom. Dad stayed in Zamosc and worked. He only came to join us on Sundays. 


We had a very good childhood. My oldest brother was accepted at the Medical Academy in Warsaw. Jerzy – also in Warsaw – studied law. The family gave them money for as long as they could. But still, accommodation in Warsaw was very expensive, so they weren’t doing too well for themselves. But Bernard managed to graduate. The material conditions at our house were not bad until the boys got arrested.


My brother Jerzy was a communist. Michal was one, too. Only the oldest one, Bernard, was not. He didn’t belong to any other party either. When Michal and Jerzy started going to some meetings, rallies, my parents were not very pleased. My parents suffered a lot because of my brothers’ involvement in the communist movement.


Interview details

Interviewee: Maria Krych
Agata Gajewska
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Warsaw, Poland


Bernard Goldwag
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Lublin Ghetto
before WW II:

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