Michal Warzager with members of the Jewish Culture Society club

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This photo was taken in the Jewish Culture Society club in Legnica. It was during a concert. I don’t remember who was singing, but I remember I liked it a lot. You can see me clapping, I’m the one sitting in the first row, first from right. I always like to attend those meeting, especially when there are guests from Warsaw.

I started to be regularly involved with the Jewish community in 1977. It used to be a big community, but nearly everyone's left [the Jewish community in Legnica now counts only few members, most of them are older than 70]. First the young people. And then I look around and - hmm, this one's gone, that one's gone. Some of them said nothing about leaving. Some of them told me that they were going to Israel, that they were going to eat oranges all day long, and that they wouldn't forget me and would send me packages. And it would have been nice to get even one package - half an orange, at least!

I always go to shul on Saturday, since if one or two people are missing, the service can't take place. I go, and I sit; it's not so tiring for me - just a little if I stand for half an hour at a time. Sometimes we have a memorial prayer for some deceased friend or relative. We recite a special Kaddish then - either I recite it, or the chairman does. The older folks who didn't emigrate attend pretty regularly. Every Saturday we have a half-liter of vodka, and sometimes someone smuggles in a bottle of their own, so we can always have a drink. And the little meal doesn't cost anything - they always prepare something for Saturday. For example a kosher chicken cutlet, potatoes with some gravy, and sweet tea with lemon - no wonder people attend! But not too many people - sometimes there's barely ten. It's a change of pace, anyway; with the meal and all, it lasts a couple of hours. We talk - we can't speak Yiddish, though, since not everyone there understands it. So we talk in Polish, and if I need to discuss something with the chairman, then we speak Yiddish.

I used to go to the social club as well. That was great: people danced and sang, someone would play the piano. There was music, and something to eat. I liked going there, especially when some performers were visiting from Warsaw. Then I was always the first one there. I don't go anymore; the bullet fragment in my leg bothers me more all the time.

Interview details

Interviewee: Michal Warzager
Jakub Rajchman
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Legnica, Poland


Michal Warzager
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before WW II:
Manual laborer
after WW II:
Manual laborer

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