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Joanna Raplewska collection

Document | Not Digitized | Accession Number: 2002.303.1

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    Consists of a tag, given to the donor’s maternal aunt, Bronka Zawadzka, by German authorities in the Łódź ghetto, September 1944, authorizing her to stay in the ghetto after its liquidation; photographs depicting the donor, her father, and her paternal uncle before the war and during the war in the Łódź ghetto; and a postcard and a letter written to Bronka Zawadzka in the Łódź ghetto.
    inclusive:  1927-1944
    Credit Line
    United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Joanna Raplewska
    Collection Creator
    Joanna Raplewska
    Joanna Mary Wajnberg was born in Łódź, Poland, on June 8, 1930 to Julian (b. April 12, 1890) and Regina Lubinska (B. March 22, 1894.) She had an older brother, Jerzyk Wlasdyslaw, born on March 1, 1925. Julian was an electrical engineer and worked for the electrical power supply company. In the first week of September 1939, Łódź was occupied by the Germans and renamed Litzmannstadt. In December 1939, the Wajnberg family was evicted from their home and forced into the section of the city that, by February, would be enclosed in barb wire and become the ghetto. Julian was made head engineer of the electric supply company; Jerzyk worked there as well. Joanna attended school her first two years in the ghetto and later was put to work making hats. In August 1944, during the final liquidation of the ghetto, Julian was chosen to stay and monitor the electrical supply. The family was moved to a labor camp in another section. Joanna and the other women worked sorting and cleaning jewelry and other items found in the ghetto. One day in January, Schwind, a deputy to the administrator of the ghetto, ordered a roll of the labor camp. Worried there would be an execution, Julian used his key to the electric power station room to hide thirteen people. For three days and nights, they sat on a bench, not moving for fear of electrocution. On January 19, 1945, they heard someone yelling that the war was over and everyone could come out. Convinced this was a trick, they remained hidden for a few more hours. They finally left their hiding place to discover that the city had been liberated by the Soviets.
    Julian was immediately taken to the city power company and remained there for three days. Joanna and her cousins, Erika and Maryla, walked around the city and went to the movies. The family returned to their prewar apartment and Joanna, now 14 years old, returned to school. In 1953, she married Zbigniew Raplewski, a Polish filmmaker, and had two sons.

    Physical Details

    1 tag.
    1 folder

    Rights & Restrictions

    Conditions on Access
    There are no known restrictions on access to this material.
    Conditions on Use
    Material(s) in this collection may be protected by copyright and/or related rights. You do not require further permission from the Museum to use this material. The user is solely responsible for making a determination as to if and how the material may be used.

    Keywords & Subjects

    Geographic Name
    Łódź (Poland)

    Administrative Notes

    The papers were donated to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum by Joanna Raplewska in 2002.
    Record last modified:
    2023-12-20 14:11:23
    This page:

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