Michal Friedman

Michal Friedman
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  • Photo taken in:
    Warsaw
    Year when photo was taken:
    1935
    Country name at time of photo:
    Poland
    Country name today:
    Poland
This is me as a student of journalism at Warsaw University. The photo was taken in Warsaw in 1935. Perhaps in 1935 I moved to the Jewish Student Dormitory in Praga [district in Warsaw]. The residents included many communists, a few Betarists, and quite a few freeloaders. At first I installed myself in a four-person room, but when I began to make money from private teaching I moved to a two-person room. As it happened, my neighbors were two eminent Jewish painters, the Seidenbeutel brothers. It was from them that I learned how to play bridge. They lived in that dormitory because they were poor and it didn't cost them much. They painted in tandem: one did one part of the picture, and the other the second part. On the whole they painted in the open air. In summer they would go to Kazimierz [Kazimierz Dolny - Jewish resort upon Vistula close to Lublin]. At that time I was also attending the Institute of Judaic Studies. I went to Balaban's class on the history of the Jews, to the Aramaic language class taught by Schorr. Students at the Institute of Judaic Studies mainly came from Jewish-Polish and Hebrew gymnasiums. Most subjects were taught in Hebrew. The course of studies took four years and led to a master's degree. Institute graduates could become teachers of the religion and history of the Jews in secondary schools. But they had to graduate from Warsaw University as well, for the institute didn't provide a state-recognized certificate. All that time I supported myself by teaching, by giving private classes. I taught Polish, Latin, and sometimes also German. The more softheaded I taught almost all subjects, bar maths. I gave private classes to girls from the Jehudyja gymnasium on Dluga Street, to the son of Artur Gold, the well-known composer; he gave me all the volumes of Schiller in German in gratitude for his son's good grades. The manufacturer of Polonia shaving razors, whose name was, by the way, Friedman, paid me 5 zloty an hour. At 7 Lwowska Street I charged 2.50 zloty.

Interview details

Interviewee: Michal Friedman
Interviewer:
Anka Grupinska
Month of interview:
January
Year of interview:
2004
Warsaw, Poland

KEY PERSON

Michal Friedman
Year of birth:
1913
City of birth:
Kovel
Country name at time of birth:
Russia
Occupation
before WW II:
Teacher
after WW II:
Teacher/Professor

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