Photo taken in:WarsawYear when photo was taken:1942Country name at time of photo:PolandCountry name today:Poland
This is my mother, Stefania Krasucka. This photo is from a fake ‘Kennkarte’ [identification document used in countries under German occupation], taken in Warsaw in 1942, so Mom must have been 47.
My mom was the eldest daughter of Nikodem and Cecylia Krasucki. She graduated from the music conservatory in Warsaw and ought to have become a professional pianist, but suffered from stage fright and got so nervous in front of an audience that she never managed to give a decent performance. Thus, she ended up as a music teacher. Because she graduated from the conservatory with a good reputation, she taught at one of the music high schools in addition to giving private lessons. As our living conditions weren't particularly representative, she gave her lessons in Grandma and Grandpa's apartment.
My parents were both music lovers and I was brought up in a cult of music; Mom used to take me to matinee performances at the Philharmonic Hall and organized morning music concerts at my elementary school. When a gramophone appeared in our apartment at one point, my friends were at a loss why we didn't have any records with popular hits, just Chopin, Beethoven, and Mozart. I recall that when I was twelve my parents took me along to the Grand Theatre to see 'A Night in Venice' I remember how proud and happy I felt when I heard the first bars of the overture.
My mom was irreligious, but at home my parents took care to preserve the outward forms of Jewish holidays, which meant that we had matzah, for example. Father wasn't opposed to them, for he made a distinction between religion and customs. In fact, he enjoyed the customs and found the cooking tasty and splendid; he would even demand traditional Jewish dishes from Mom, such as Jewish caviar. He believed that those customs should be respected because they were the customs of our people, but eating matzah doesn't need to have much in common with religion.
In 1970 my mother died. She was buried in the Powazki cemetery. Mom was a typical representative of the Polish intelligentsia of Jewish descent, and the Powazki is the cemetery of the Polish intelligentsia. Mom was also entitled to a grave there on account of her work for the Parliament. Anyhow, that institution took care of her burial.