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Oral history interview with Jadwiga Gawroinsk

Oral History | Accession Number: 1995.A.1280.17 | RG Number: RG-50.225.0017

Jadwiga Gawroinsk, born in 1923 in Lublin, Poland, describes being one of three children; her family's affluence; attending Polish school; having cordial relations with non-Jews; the German invasion; ghettoization; moving to Melgiew in the summer of 1941; her future husband joining them; visiting friends and relatives in the Lublin ghetto; obtaining authentic documents as non-Jews; the round-ups of Jews from nearby villages in October 1942; returning to Lublin; her father leaving and being robbed enroute (she never saw him again); her father’s non-Jewish, former employer arranging to include her mother and sister as Polish forced laborers in Germany; hiding with her husband; feeling relatively safe going out since she did not look Jewish; moving to Warsaw with funds from her husband's very wealthy family; moving frequently to avoid detection; receiving assistance from many non-Jews and underground members; moving with her husband and his younger sister to a rescuer's summer home in Zielonka in November; returning to Warsaw in March 1943, fearing detection; meeting escapees from the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising; printing underground papers; visiting friends in Hotel Polski (they were killed); her husband joining partisans in the forest (he was killed); receiving funds from Żegota; a Gestapo interrogation during which a German “race expert” declared her a non-Jew; moving to Łuków with her brother; liberation by Soviet troops in July 1944; moving to Józefów; getting married to a non-Jewish Pole; reuniting with her mother and sister in 1945; the fates of her relatives and the many non-Jews who helped her; having nightmares from her experiences; continuing her contact with rescuers, friends, and relatives in Poland and abroad, including her first husband's family; experiencing antisemitism in 1968; believing her survival was due to good luck; and losing her belief in God after the Holocaust.

Some video files begin with 10-60 seconds of color bars.
Jadwiga Gawronska
Anka Grupińska
Barbara Engelking-Boni
interview:  1995
1 videocassette (VHS) : sound, color ; 1/2 in..
Credit Line
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, courtesy of the Jeff and Toby Herr Foundation
Record last modified: 2020-03-26 09:48:48
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