Jewish Scene
Finding a 60-year-old treasure
Nira Rousso
Published: 15.04.07, 16:50
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19 Talkbacks for this article
2. It's "Armia Krajowa"
Justine   (04.16.07)
It's Armia Krajowa - not "Armia Kriova". And while it is possible that some AK soldiers murdered Jews (there are criminals in every army...), it was by no means the official policy. Besides, it is known that survivors did not always make a difference between various armed groups operating in the Polish underground, so sometimes murders committed by fringe far-right units like Narodowe Sily Zbrojne were ascribed to AK. AK was the main underground force in Poland and one of the biggest in Europe. Sometimes it helped Jews; its soldiers were given orders to shoot collaborators and schmalzovniks and Zegota - a unit that was exclusively devoted to helping Jews was linked to Armia Krajowa. The photos are beautiful, but so sad. Especially men in Polish uniforms. They look great, they were Polish...I know there was anti-Semitism in prewar Poland but at this point it could still be mended. If it wasn't for Holocaust, years would have passed, Poles would have wisened and relationships would have improved. I think we miss those people.
3. lost photos of family found
Amy   (04.16.07)
This appeared to be a beautiful family/friends with very close ties and seemed very happy and thriving. I feel sad as i peer into history and see these photos. I can only imagine what life may have been like for them. They were an exceeding good looking group of young people who looked happy. How very tragic that these photos were missing for so long. How sad
4. Hey, Justine
Isragirl ,   Qiryat Yam, Israel   (04.16.07)
I truly appreciate your efforts to communicate a balanced picture of what happened during those dark days. Dark not just for Jews, for everybody. The Germans paid their price as well, especially when the US and British forces burnt parts of Germany to the ground. Many European Christians were saving their Jewish neighbors. They are celebrated in Israel as national heroes. Majority looked away as Jews were pulled out of their houses, either b/c they didn't care or b/c they didn't want to interfere and share their fate. Many danced on Jewish blood. Half of my family was fighting in the Red Army just like all other Soviet people. Half was murdered by their Ukrainian neighbors as soon as the Red Army left and long before the Germans came in and commenced the organized killings. They just couldn't wait. My family - adults and children, about 20 people in a small Ukrainian town, were thrown into a well, alive and bound, and then stoned by the town people. They lived there for many generations and never had any problems on personal level. I can't forget that. My 6 years old daughter is already reading books about Anne Frank, and I have to explain to her why anyone would hate her so badly b/c she was born Jewish. It breaks my heart each time I make a brave face and explain (in terms she can understand without having nightmares) that her being born to 2 Jewish parents marks her for life as a target for expressions of hate and intolerance, and possibly a death threat. Are you a mother, Justine? I don't wish this upon you. Best of luck to you.
5. Justine, you think things can be mended? with whom?
3 millions murdered during the war; Kielce pogrom after the war; 1968 purges of Polish Jews when most of the survivors left. With history like that all you can do is bank on sentimental Polish Jews to come for a visit from abroad . As evidenced by Radio Maria, very few in Poland miss the Jews. Last I hear from an American Jew, he and his group were pelted with eggs on the 'March of the Living.' Sorry to burst the your bubble, but Europe better get used to the new minority, the Muslims .
6. justice
yosi ,   jerusalem   (04.16.07)
let the palestinians search the walls of their occupied cities and villages to find out their memorials, their pictures, the bodies of their fathers and grand fathers, and the jews should search in boland and europe on their assets isnt it a justic solution?
7. Photographs
Benjamin ,   Greenville, USA   (04.16.07)
Thank you for publishing these photographs. Benjamin
8. photos
annette karan ,   U.S.A.   (04.16.07)
I am astounded these photos were discovered. How many other artifacts are still to be discovered?
9. Great pics !
dd   (04.16.07)
These photographs are so real and breathtaking considering how good life used to be for European Jews. Come think of it, they worked very hard for their comfortable lives. This, in spite of European anti-Semitism which was not that bad in the twenties and very early thirties. Then, suddenly all hell broke loose and many of these so called peaceful Poles, Hungarians, Croats, Greeks, Lithuanians, Ukraines, etc.,etc., started to show their real beastly alter ego. They suddenly turned into fanatical collaborators of the Nazi Germans, plunderers, bullies, violent neighbours and willing executioners. History has already proven all these plain and clear. I sincerely hope that all this nostalgia stays solely in the realm of these family pictures which in fact is right and extremely understandable.
Atilla Karagözoğlu ,   Israel's Heart   (04.16.07)
you look at yourself. what you got to offer for world. they gave their bodies. THE SOULS :) I MEET THEM SOMETHIMES. THEY SMILE OVER THE SKIES OF MIDDLE EAST. you are the poor ones. THEY ARE THE RICH ONES.
11. photos
debbie ,   n.o. lA   (04.16.07)
with mixed emotions. they are indeed a treasure and yet it was so painful to read this. It again reminds us of what was...!
12. Thanks for sharing the pictures
Blima lorber ,   Parana, Brazil   (04.16.07)
I was deeply touched with the article and the pictures. It is sad to know that nothing was left from this vibrant community. My parents and many relatives were born in Chelm. Thanks for the family for sharing with us this treasure that Shlomo Boden so wisely hid.
13. Armia Krajowa in article "Finding a 60-year-old treasure "
Bruno Keller ,   Santa Fe, NM, USA   (04.16.07)
Please look up more details in Wikipedia under "Armia Krajowa" and you will find a lot of confirmatory comments as those made by "Justine 4/16/07.
14. Such a pity
Veronique ,   Israel   (04.16.07)
Thank you for this article. It is very moving. I find it so hard that, in addition to her hard life, Pini's mother did not get to see those pictures while she was still alive!
15. To Isragirl
Justine   (04.17.07)
Thanks a lot for your comment. No, I'm not a mother. I don't know what I would say. There is something incredibly dreadful in the Jewish experience of those years - the lack of choice, the helplessness, the inevitability of death and the way it usually came. I remember as a child I was aware of many historical issues and I knew my compatriots have suffered. At an individual level many non-Jews suffered a similar fate to many Jews – tortures, executions, concentration camps, racism - even violence inflicted by neighbors. I remember how shocked I was when I learned that according to German plans, all Poles had to know was count to 100 and sign their name. I was an eager first grade student and my mother told me that I already knew more than the Nazi thought was appropriate given my “race” was chilling. But overall I don’t remember being very afraid. Maybe because I knew most of my compatriots survived and most had some choice. Some didn't, but you could always hope that you would have been among those who did, so I remember what haunted me as a child was not so much the question of what I would do if facing death, but the question whether I would be able to willingly engage in activities that would make death and torture much more likely. My mother, who was a teacher, often went on trips with her students and often took me with her, but once she refused. They were going to Gross Rosen concentration camp. I was less than 10 years old and at first I did not want to believe that this trip was really not for me (her students were at most 14 years old though…), so my mom brought two postcards from the trip showing the installations of the camp. Even on photos they looked ominous, and I believed. Yet, I think your daughter should not come to believe that she is somehow doomed to this fate. After all, in the long Jewish history, countless generations have not faced anything like the Holocaust. And not being Jewish does not always guarantee a life free of hatred.
16. family name
Rose Rousso ,   USA   (04.18.07)
Dear Nira, I read your article with great interest; also, I am writing to you because my last name is the same as yours and I was wondering if we are at all related. My grandparents came from Izmir, Turkey , and emigrated to Argentina in the 1920s. I am currently living in the Washington DC. area I am always fascinated by the numerous migrations us Jews have gone through. Best regards, Rose Rousso Debenedetti
17. photographs of Poland
Elayne Heller ,   Boca Raton, Florida   (04.19.07)
I have a photo album that belonged to my aunt, who came to America in 1930. Some of the family stayed in Poland and , as far as I know, were killed. I don't know any of the people in the photos. Who might recognize them?? No one in the family is alive.
18. Finding A 60 yr old treasure.
Gitti Epstein ,   Rockland New York   (04.21.07)
We have seen the pictures and have recognized family members and others. Please let me know how to proceed with our information.
19. Chelm album
Teresa Pollin ,   Bethesda,MD, USA   (05.24.07)
I have additional information about people depicted on the photographs in the marvelous album. Please contact me directly. I received the information from a relative of the photographer in Chelm, Mordko Goldenzon.
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