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Halina Masri papers

Document | Not Digitized | Accession Number: 1999.262.1

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    The papers consist of 103 photographs depicting Halina Wroncberg Masri's family before World War II in Poland, her experiences as a hidden child during the war, and her experiences immediately after the war, including her immigration to Israel. The collection also includes a business card for Mordka (Mordechai) Bleiwejs, Halina’s maternal grandfather.
    inclusive:  1918-1952
    Credit Line
    United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Halina Masri
    Collection Creator
    Halina Masri
    Halina Wroncberg (later Masri) was the only child of Henryk Wroncberg and Chaja Sara (Zofia) Bleiweiss Wroncberg. Henryk and Zofia were cousins. Zofia's mother, Tzipora Wroncberg Bleiweiss was the sister of Yosef Israel Wroncberg, Henryk's father. Halina was born on August 22, 1934 in Warsaw. Henryk was a chemical engineer, educated in Vienna. He died in 1937 at the age of 42 when Halina was still a toddler. Zofia's three sisters: Rozia (Rachel), Tecia (Yona) and Regina (Rivka) immigrated to Palestine in the early 1930's. Tzipora Bleiweiss traveled to Palestine to visit her three daughters in 1938 and could not return to Poland before the start of the war. Zofia also had three brothers: Henryk, Moniek, and Jakubek. Henryk lived in Leipzig Germany and worked as furrier. Moniek married Rena Karmazyn and had a daughter Janka; all three perished in the Warsaw ghetto. Jakubek had a wife and three sons in Radom.

    In the fall of 1940, Halina and her mother, Zofia were forced to move from their apartment to the Warsaw ghetto. They escaped the following year. Zofia's Polish friend, Renia Bockowska (later Czaczkes) and her husband arranged for them to leave the ghetto via the courthouse. They obtained false papers for Halina and Zofia and arranged for them to get Catholic religious training at the church on Plac Zbawiciela. Sometime in the summer of 1941 Halina and her mother were baptized in that church. Halina became Halina Jolanta Chmielewska, and her mother went by Jadwiga Stanislawa Chmielewska. Initially Halina and her mother stayed in an apartment rented by Renia. In the fall of 1941, Halina enrolled in a Catholic convent boarding school Siostry Zmartwychstanki. After some time, the mother superior of the convent received permission to move the school to a summer palace of Count Radziwill in Stara Wies, about 30 miles east of Warsaw. At that time, Zofia lived with another friend from before the war, Rita Bauman Hasslauer, her husband, and daughter, Jolanta. They resided on Aleje Shucha, the same street where the Gestapo headquarters were located. Rita Hasslauer worked as a translator for the Gestapo. Although Zofia, with the help of Mrs. Hasslauer's, visited Halina a few times in the convent, after liberation, Halina resisted leaving the convent and returning to her mother. Zofia prepared a new room for Halina in Brzeg, in western Poland, and Halina moved in with her mother, but continued to go to church and wear a cross. In 1948, Halina and Zofia moved to Lodz, and on January 31, 1950, they immigrated to Israel where they joined their family. Halina served in the Israeli Army, married, and later immigrated to the United States.

    Physical Details

    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

    Administrative Notes

    The papers were donated to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum by Halina Masri in 1998.
    Record last modified:
    2023-02-24 14:23:58
    This page:

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