Secret meeting of the Nieznanowski family in Romania

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  • Country name at time of photo:
    Romania
    Country name today:
    Romania

This is our secret meeting in Romania - my brother, Jozef, came unofficially with his wife Guta from Israel to Romania. We - me, Feliks Nieznanowski, my wife Henryka and my son Witold went there from Poland. It was the only way to see each other because in the 1970s Poland had no official relationship with Israel. 

My brother was born in 1911. His name was Josif, or Jozef. He completed a business school. He worked as a salesclerk at a Jewish textile store on Nalewki Street. And besides working there, he got increasingly involved in political activity, contracted the disease of communism. He joined the KZMP, the communist youth organization. He received several sentences before the war, and by 1939 had spent four years in prison. The uncles didn't like that. It was that kind of family in which such things were unwelcome. They didn't like the fact that he was a communist, was in jail, that we sent him food packages, fatback. 

My brother had a wife, a Jewess, and three kids. His wife's name was Guta Rozenfeld, the kids - Michal, Hadasa, and Rachela. They lived in Zoliborz. In 1954 - they can no longer stand it, because that daughter, Rachela - she's dead now - was a typical Jewess, dark-skinned, pretty eyes. They harassed her in school. She hit herself on the head, had to be treated psychiatrically. So they say, 'Enough! We can no longer stand it here!' A decision is made to leave Poland. My brother comes to me and says, 'What do we do? Only the two of us have been left.' I say, 'I'm in the army, I'll go and tell them to dismiss me.' They still pretended to be nice then. They say, 'So what that your brother is leaving? But you have a wife, the army needs you, we won't dismiss you. It doesn't matter that your brother is leaving.' I say, 'What do you mean it doesn't matter? I know the rule is if you have anyone abroad, you yourself will never be permitted to leave.' 'No, nothing of the sort!' My brother says, 'Well, you have your family, you'll do as you like, but we're leaving.' And thus we parted. In Israel my brother worked in the Carit kibbutz. 

Interview details

Interviewee: Feliks Nieznanowski
Interviewer:
Joanna Fikus
Month of interview:
November
Year of interview:
2005
Warsaw, Poland

KEY PERSON

Feliks Nieznanowski
Year of birth:
1926
City of birth:
Warsaw
Country name at time of birth:
Poland
Occupation
after WW II:
Career officer

Other Person

Jozef Nieznanowski
Jewish name:
Josif
Year of birth:
1911
City of birth:
Warsaw
Country name at time of birth:
Russia
Year of death:
1987
City of death:
Carit
Country of death:
Israel
Died:
after WW II
Occupation
before WW II:
Salesclerk
after WW II:
Kibbutznik

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