Tuesday, February 19, 2008
Kanske skulle man ha kallat de händelserna jag kommer ihåg för traumor då jag minns de så bra trots att jag var i 4-5 års åldern.
Den första "kom ihåg" händelse var när ett stort lok passerade mig och min mamma stående på den låga perrongen i Warszawa och visslade förfärligt högt.
Den andra hade med det vita skåpet hemma att göra. Vi skulle åka bort någonstans och min bror skulle i sista sekunden hämta något från skåpets översta hylla. Han öppnade spegeldörren drog ut den nedre lådan och ställde sig på den för att nå fram. Då han var tjock och tung samt p.g.a. hävverkan så fick han rörelse på skåpet som kanske skulle ha fallit över honom och dödat honom som min pappa sa, om inte fallet stoppades av en stol.
Sunday, February 17, 2008
Summer camp Różyczka. Dr. Janusz Korczak in the middle. My father Michal (Pan Misza) Wasserman Wróblewski on his right and Saba Lejzerowicz on the left.
|Korczaks orphanage opened it´s summer camp Różyczka in 1921, which remained in operation until the summer of 1940. Children from several orphanages in Warszawa spent their time there.|
|Różyczka in 1938. My father, Misza Wasserman Wroblewski (Pan Misza) together with children.|
|In September 1939, Hitler landed with a small plane on a field close to brick factory and Różyczka summer camp (which was in operation until the summer of 1940) and was watching from the church tower, the German offensive on Warszawa.|
Convent and fields close to Rózyczka summer camp
Janusz Korczak established in 1912 a Jewish orphanage, Dom Sierot, in a building at 92 Krochmalna st, which he designed to advance his progressive educational theories. He envisioned a world in which children structured their own world and became experts in their own matters. Jewish children between the ages of seven and fourteen were allowed to live there while attending Polish public school and government-sponsored Jewish schools.
Janusz Korczak was serving as principal of Dom Sierot and at another orphanage, Nasz Dom aimed for Christian children. Korczak was also a doctor and author, worked at a Polish radio station, was a principal of an experimental school, published a children’s newspaper and was a docent at a Polish university. Korczak served as an expert witness in a district court for minors. He became well-known in Polish society and received many awards.
The orphanage opened a summer camp Różyczka in 1921, which remained in operation until the summer of 1940. Children from several orphanages in Warszawa spent their time there.
Where is (was) Rózyczka? I knew from my father who worked for several years with Korczak that one could get to Rózyczka either by tram or by train. My father, preferred to go by tram and to walk through the fields. Train station (WKD) was may be closer but the way to summer camp not that nice. My father told me that there was a brick plant close to the summer camp and the church. There was also an amunition factory in the area. The adres of Różyczka was 1, Conventstreet (Klasztorna 1). Klasztorna street do not exist any more in Warszawa and I could not find the location on present Warszawa maps.
In 1986, Betty Jean Lifton the author of biography of Korczak, The King of Children went with Ida Merzan that worked for several years at Różyczka in search of the summer camp. Betty Jean Lifton remembers that Ida Merzan was startled that she could not find it. She said it was near a church. But we could not locate that either. Nothing in the area she remembered looked the same. The camp seemed to have completely disappeared. We were so disappointed, writes Betty Jean Lifton.
However, I got an old map from 1932 and I found the Church-convent on it and brick plant (Cg cegelnia) on the map. The area was called at that time Czaplowizna and area close to the convent, Glinki.
It was rather difficult to find the same area on Google Earth. Finally, I found Klasztorna (Convent) street - now Korkowa and the Convent building 280 meters (approx. 300 yards) south from Klasztorna (street. See Convent building at bottom right on Google Earth picture.. There is not a single sign after Różyczka summer camp houses. The area is fully occupied by houses build in 60-ties and only the names of streets like Old Doctor Street and King Matt I, are witnessing about former summer camp. There is as well buss stop sign with name Pocisk (Bullet) after the Pocisk ammunition factory (PK sign on bullets from 1932-33 - picture. There were some of Różyczka buildings left until sixties!
In September 1939, Hitler landed with a small plane on a field close to Różyczka summer camp (which was in operation until the summer of 1940) and was watching from the church tower, the German offensive on Warszawa.
In the spring, in 1940, Korczak wrote to Stanislaw Krupka, mayor of the municipality Wawer the letter asking for help in organizing summer camp. Korczak wanted to give the children a little bit of security and peace from the war.
He wrote to Krupka: "This may be the last chance of letting children to run in the woods (...) it is maybe the last summer."
Stanislaw Krupka arranged both transportation and food for the Orphanage! One has to remember that Poles were not allowed to help Jews. After this last summer Korczak wrote several letters to Krupka and gave him signed books.
I was always wondering, if Różyczka, besides showing the life outside the big and crowded city was also a kind of the first preparation for children to kibbutz life?
|One of the Polish children left at the convent described Polish/Russian offensive in 1944: On September 10th (14th ?) 1944 at about three o'clock at the basement of the Convent, a very young nun ran with a cry of "Polish Army!" The room emptied immediately. I saw the Polish and Soviet soldiers. They were dirty, dusty, tired but happy to see the smiling faces Polish children. They kissed us, shirked flap their uniforms and showed them pinned medals and images of Our Lady of Czestochowa. The joy was enormous. We all hugged, kissed, cried. Other soldiers were searching for the hidden Germans. Those who are prepared to blow up the church. They found them, but what happened to them - I do not know.|
View from the seventies. The area around the convent were still the fields. The church tower is absent as it was "removed" by Polish soldiers in 1944 as it was partly destroyed by Germans and could easily fell.