Public school in Goworowo

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    Year when photo was taken:
    Country name at time of photo:
    Poland, 1918-1939
    Country name today:

This, I suppose, is the Polish public school. It was a coeducational school. The picture was taken in the 1938. I don’t know who took this photo. I can recognize only one person, a friend of ours, Ajdela Skornik.  Her father was a ‘Shpiliter’  - he was transporting goods from Warsaw to Goworowo. 

Goworowo was a town of shoemakers, tailors, carpenters and 'balagule', that is horse drivers … Most people in the town made a living from what they produced: assorted pants, suits, shoes (unlike in Warsaw or Lodz, where you could work in various places). Things were produced and then taken to a market in Jedwabne, Lachow, Rozan, Dlugosiodlo, Wyszkow. Everyone had horses, so they would go there and open a stall. In our town, for example, market day was on Thursdays. Everyone would bring their goods - whatever they had, usually clothes or shoes made by poor shoemakers. There were butchers selling parts of meat. Because Jews eat only the front part of a cow, the rear end isn't kosher. Certain veins had to be taken out for it to be kosher. And in the rear end parts of a cow or a calf these veins couldn't be found, so those parts were not eaten. Poles from villages would come to our town and buy that meat. Or Polish butchers, who made kielbasa [Polish sausage], they also bought that meat. They mixed pork, a bit of beef and that's how they made kielbasa. And that non-kosher part was sold to Poles.

Our town was very rooted in Jewish traditions. Everybody belonged to some organization. There were organizations: Poalei Zion, an orthodox religious organization Agudat Israel  and Bund  - a modern Jewish organization saying 'We were born in Poland and have to make a life fFor ourselves in Poland'. Youth organizations were also very active: there was Beitar, there  was Hahalutz, which prepared kibbutzim in Poland. They exercised, went to farmers to learn farming, and they all got together and went to Israel (if they got a certificate, permit from the English). First wave of youth left in 1929 - 1930. My cousin Ester,  Necha Szachter, Natan 'Nuske' Szron, Lejbcze Gewura, Idel Rudka were among them… I remember till today when they went to Israel. The arrived in Palestine long before the war. And I remember, if some of them were earning money, they used to send some home

Among Jews, when a boy was 14, he had to have a profession. My father said to me then: 'Zinele - my son - it's time for you to get a profession'. First Father sent me to a tailor. It was in Goworowo, although the tailor was from Radzilow and everyone used to call that tailor 'der Radzillowiczer' or 'Radzillower'. I was very energetic, so I worked with enthusiasm: I sewed, darned… But it wasn't for me. I felt too strong, too muscular for a job like that. I was looking for a more physical kind of work. So Father decided I should learn to be a tinsmith and sent me to Warsaw. I was 15 or 16 at the time [1937]. Father had a friend who lived on Solna Street, near Twarda Street. His name was Sucher. He was a tinsmith - repaired pots, finished beds, filled holes, fixed windows. And Father decided with that friend that I would be there as a 'learningl' [apprentice]. His store wasn't big, maybe 12 square meters. It was a shop at the same time. Everything was made by hand there, everything! At the back there was one room and a kitchen. Sucher lived there with his wife and two daughters. For me - out of some wooden boards that they hung over the shop - they made a mezzanine, a kind of attic separated with a curtain. I slept there. Sucher gave me food and something to drink. I worked as much as I could. From the very morning till evening. I didn't know the words 'work hours.' I didn't like this job too much. On top of that, I wasn't a good boy. I kept on scaring those girls, Sucher's daughters. I didn't want to stay there. 


Interview details

Interviewee: Icchok Grynberg
Agata Gajewska
Month of interview:
Year of interview:
Warsaw, Poland


Ajdla Skornik

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