Matylda Wyszynska with her daughter

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  • Country name at time of photo:
    Poland
    Country name today:
    Poland

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
Interviewer:
Anna Szyba
Month of interview:
March
Year of interview:
2006
Gdynia, Poland

KEY PERSON

Matylda Wyszynska
Jewish name:
Ada
Year of birth:
1922
City of birth:
Lwow
Country name at time of birth:
Poland
Occupation
after WW II:
housewife, public servant
Family names
  • Previous family name: 
    Podchaniuk
    Reason for changing: 
    Marriage
    Decade of changing: 
    1950
  • Previous family name: 
    Bednarska
    Year of changing: 
    1946
    Reason for changing: 
    Marriage
  • Previous family name: 
    Fuchs
    Year of changing: 
    1922
    Reason for changing: 
    Hiding Jewish

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