Matylda Wyszynska with her daughter

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This is me with my daughter Kasia.

After the war I terribly wanted to work and later, unbeknownst to Staszek, I went to work at a factory, in the machine room. And then I met my second husband. In 1953 I started working for the labor inspection and worked there until my retirement in 1984. Then I got a divorce (don't remember the exact year) and I married an actor called Wyszynski, he was an actor in Czestochowa, then in Opole, in the Thirteen Rows Theatre of Grotowski. We weren't long together because he drank a lot, an artistic soul, essentially. My first husband was such a calm, reliable, really loving man. And here I entered this milieu, I was bitten by the theatre bug, it was not Wyszynski I fell in love with but theatre.

He was a Pole but he knew I was Jewish. I never made it a secret. I mean, I made it a secret from others but I told him. We were together until 1970. Then he went into rehab at the hospital in Opole. I was behind with my work at the labor inspection because of all that and I was called to Warsaw, to my boss, who gave me an ultimatum: it's either Wyszynski or your job. Well, I chose the job. In 1959 I was moved to Gdansk. But he came in my wake. Said was no longer in theatre, was clean, undergoing therapy. I, the idiot, believed him and was with him again, and I even fixed him up with a job. There's this Sailor Club in Gdynia, a café, a restaurant, a nightclub. He got a job there as a technical manager and started doing some theatre work there on the side. And there he started drinking even harder than he used to. And we split. He was seven years my junior, born 1929. He's alive. Staszek is dead. He died some eight years ago.

It seems to me I told Kasia, our daughter, that I was Jewish only after my divorce with her father. And she became interested in those things. She went to the head of the Jewish Community and said her mother lived in Gdynia, on Warszawska. He told her to tell he mother to come. I didn't go for a long time, didn't want to hear about that. I was afraid, afraid to come out, the fear's still in me. My children aren't afraid but I'm. My daughter feels that she’s Jewish. She has two children.

Interview details

Interviewee: Matylda Wyszynska
Anna Szyba
Month of interview:
Year of interview:
Gdynia, Poland


Matylda Wyszynska
Jewish name:
Year of birth:
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Country name at time of birth:
after WW II:
housewife, public servant
Family names
  • Previous family name: 
    Reason for changing: 
    Decade of changing: 
  • Previous family name: 
    Year of changing: 
    Reason for changing: 
  • Previous family name: 
    Year of changing: 
    Reason for changing: 
    Hiding Jewish

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