Michal Warzager with his wife Zoja and a friend

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  • Photo taken in:
    Legnica
    Country name at time of photo:
    Poland
    Country name today:
    Poland

This photo was taken in the 1970s in a park which was located close to my former apartment. My wife Zoja Warzager, nee Titowa and I went there with a friend; I don’t remember now his name. I remember only that it was cold that day, that’s why I have my trench closed so tight.

When we arrived in Legnica, we didn't know anything here. People simply moved into apartments, whatever they could find. They were empty apartments left by the Germans who had been resettled. We moved into an apartment on Grodzka Street, along with a friend - there were four apartments in one building. He went to work at the steelworks, and I found work with the Russians, in a tank factory. It was only called a tank factory - there wasn't a tank in sight, though, all we did was repair the engines. I worked there until they closed down the factory and left. I remember they didn't pay well at all, and the work was hard. After that I found a job at Elpo - the Legnica Clothing Factory. They welcomed me with open arms. I worked there as a locksmith for 22 years, right up until I retired.

Right after the war Legnica was almost a Jewish town. I looked around the marketplace, or walking down the streets - Jews everywhere. I knew a lot of people who were traders then. They kept telling me to stop working and become a trader, but I didn't have a knack for it. They did business with the Russians - they'd buy watches or gold, and then sell the stuff for a profit. But I didn't like hanging around and haggling with them. The police could run you in for that in those days, and I'd got my honorable discharge from the army and didn't want to ruin my reputation. Everything then seemed so temporary - we couldn't be sure we wouldn't have to take off, or that the Germans wouldn't come back to Legnica. We'd have our dinners at the Repatriation Bureau - there was a cafeteria there. We didn't save money. We lived for the moment.

We used to go visit some friends who lived on the other side of the park. Once he came over at midnight saying his wife had baked a fish pie. He got us out of bed and we went to his house in the middle of the night. I had a big dog then, so I took my dog along. But there wasn't a soul on the street!

Interview details

Interviewee: Michal Warzager
Interviewer:
Jakub Rajchman
Month of interview:
July
Year of interview:
2004
Legnica, Poland

KEY PERSON

Michal Warzager
Jewish name:
Icek
Year of birth:
1920
City of birth:
Pogranicze
Country name at time of birth:
Poland
Occupation
before WW II:
Manual laborer
after WW II:
Manual laborer

Other Person

Zoja Warzager
Year of birth:
1919
City of birth:
Karpinsk
Country name at time of birth:
USSR
Occupation
after WW II:
Accountant/Bookkeeper
  • Previous family name: 
    Titowa
    Reason for changing: 
    Marriage
    Decade of changing: 
    1940

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