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Zyzniewski family papers

Document | Accession Number: 2014.451.1

The Zyzniewski family papers relate the experiences of the Zyzniewski family in Łódź, Poland during World War II. The Zyzniewski family was a Catholic and active in the Polish resistance. The papers contain identification documents for Zygmunt Zyzniewski, Janina Zyzniewski, and their son Wiesław Kazimierz Zyzniewski (later Wesley Zineski). The correspondence was written by Janina and Wesley during their imprisonments in Radogoszcz prison and Auschwitz concentration camp, 1942-1942. The papers also contain photographs and two photograph albums of the Zyzniewski family with unidentified friends and relatives before the war (ca. 1928-1937).

The identification documents series includes a copy of birth and baptism certificate for Wiesław Kazimierz Zyzniewski, 1936; identification card issued to Zygmunt Zyzniewski, September 31, 1938; certificate of release of Wesley from prison, March 19, 1941; notification of money and items belonging to Wesley when imprisoned, September 8, 1942; Auschwitz concentration camp identification card for Wesley, December 10, 1942; death certificate issued for Janina Zyzniewski in Auschwitz concentration camp, January 23, 1943; identification card issued to Wesley at Buchenwald concentration camp, April 26, 1945; Displaced person identification card for Wesley, August 20, 1946; certificate issued in place of a baptismal certificate, February 11, 1947; documents relating to Wesley’s imprisonment in Buchenwald concentration camp, June 10, 1947; identification card issued to Wesley by the Polish Home Army, August 4, 1947; United States of America certificate of identity in lieu of passport issued to Wesley, April 3, 1947; Wesley Zyzniewski identity cards, May 5, 1947, June 17, 1948; statement regarding Wesley by Boleslaw Juchniewicz, November 22, 1949; statement regarding Wesley by Zbigniew Szmytke, November 28, 1949; United States Naturalization certificate for Wesley Cosmer Zineski, April 16, 1953; and copy of Wesley’s birth certificate, May 2, 1957.

The correspondence was written by Janina Zyzniewski and Wiesław Zyzniewski while imprisoned in Radogoszcz prison in Łódź and Auschwitz concentration camp, circa 1942-1943, 1953. Janina’s letters are addressed to her mother, Wilhelmine Jezierska, and other family members and were smuggled out of the prison. Her letters discuss fellow prisoners, her experiences in prison, and instructs her son about daily chores. One of her undated letters reveal she is aware of Wiesław’s imprisonment.

The photographs of the Zyzniewski family including Zygmunt Zyzniewski, Janina Zyzniewski, Wesley Zyzniewski, and Wesley’s unnamed older brother, as well as various friends and family members. An untitled photograph album, 1928-1929, contains photographs of the Zyzniewski family before the war in Poland. The album includes photographs of the children playing, riding bikes, sledding in the snow; the family posing in front of a windmill and an automobile; a wedding; and scenes of Ciechocinek, Poland. An untitled photograph album, 1930-1937 also includes photographs of the Zyzniewski family at the summer resort in Rochna, Poland; the children swimming, hunting, rowing, sailing, and fishing; the family out in the snow during the winter 1934; one of the boys wearing his first student’s hat; a portrait of one of the boys taken for his first communion; a road trip to Czechoslovakia; and portraits of various family members.

inclusive:  1925-1957
3 folders
1 oversize box
1 book enclosure
Credit Line
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of the Estate of Wesley Zineski
Record last modified: 2020-09-15 12:06:58
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