Rachela Majtlis with her daughter Fryda

Rachela Majtlis with her daughter Fryda
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This picture was probably taken in the 1930s at a photographer's studio in Sosnowiec. I don?t know the name of the photographer. This is my husband Dawid Birencwajg's sister. Her name is Rachela Majtlis. And this child this is her daughter, Fryda. My husband came from Sosnowiec. His father's name was Abram, his mother was Tema. There were six children in all. Four daughters and two sons. One daughter was called Rozia, or Rachela, the second one Sala, the third one Laja, and the fourth one was Bluma. Both sons were almost never at home. The reason for that was: once Dawid bought himself a bottle of Sinalco, a soft drink lemonade, on a Saturday and his mother saw this and said, 'Wait until I tell your father, he'll show you.' As soon as she said that, he went off, good bye, he wasn't there anymore. He went to Piotrkow, where he worked in a kitchen, that's how he learned his trade - a waiter. It was a very religious family. Although my mother-in-law couldn't read about this religion from any book, she'd always go to the prayer house for all the holidays. Rachela married Maks Majtlis, and they had one daughter, Fryda, Frydziunia. When the war broke out, we were in Lodz. My husband decided to go, with other men, to save Warsaw. He came back after two months. I told him, 'Listen, there's no point in you being here.' So he said, 'My two friends are crossing to the other side', that's how they'd say it, to the other side of the Bug. So I said, 'Go together with them.' I had arranged with my husband that if, God willing, he'd be alive, I should look for him in Bialystok , where he could get registered in a waiters' union, or in Lwow. We couldn't get a message from him, because my husband didn't know where we were. I found him in Lwow. My husband rented an apartment, we slept on the floor, there were these huge cockroaches and it cost 5 zloty a night. We managed to get used to all this somehow, we weren't so scared anymore and we found out that the brothers-in-law were there. Rachela Majtlis, also came for a short time, but later left. She went back to Sosnowiec. Rachela and her daughter Fryda didn't survive the war.

Interview details

Interviewee: Gustawa Birencwajg
Warsaw, Poland


Rachela Majtlis
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Fryda Majtlis
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