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Rosenszajn, Herszkowicz, and Dworzecka families papers

Document | Digitized | Accession Number: 1999.271.2

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    Rosenszajn, Herszkowicz, and Dworzecka families papers

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    The Rosenszajn, Herszkowicz, and Dworzecka families papers relate to the pre-war and wartime experiences of the Rosenzajn family of Pinsk, Poland and Białystok, Poland; the Herszkowicz family of Łódź, Poland; and the Dworzecki family of Vilna, Poland (now Vilnius, Lithuania). The families’ papers include studio portraits and candid photographs of each of the families, as well as photographs of Maria Dworzecka (born Marysia Rozenszajn), a hidden child during the Holocaust, and her rescuers Lucyna and Waclaw Białowarczuk in Tykocin, Poland. The papers also include a postcard sent from the Łódź ghetto and documents issued to Bela Rosenszajn (née Kaufman) under her wartime alias Paulina Pakulska.

    The documents are issued to Paulina Pakulska, the wartime alias of Bela Rozenszajn. The documents include a German work permit issued on December 18, 1942; a registration certificate for Paulina and Maria Pakulska, March 19, 1943; a receipt for refugee money paid to Bella Rozenszajn from May 13-July 10, 1945; 2 receipts, 1945; a Swedish registration certificate, September 23, 1945; and a permit to return to Poland from Sweden, October 28, 1945.

    The photographs of Maria Dworzecka include images of Maria while in hiding in Tykocin, Poland with Lucyna and Waclaw Białowarczuk and their extended family. Also included are photographs of Maria’s father Izak Rozenszajn (d. 1941) and her mother Bela Rozenszajn (1909-1948). There is also a photograph of Maria taken in 1948 while she was living with the family of her maternal uncle, Mosze Kaufman.

    The postcard was written by Jankel and Gitla Herszkowicz in the Łódź ghetto and sent to Alicja and Antonii Grosman in Łuniniec (now Luninets, Belarus). The postcard notifies Alicja that her parents, her brother Dawid and his wife Bronka are healthy. The postcard expresses happiness that Alicja will be joining her younger brother Moniek and his wife (who was pregnant at the time). Alicja’s parents enquire about their friends the Krakowskis and the Wegmeister family from Warsaw, Poland. The letter is written in German and is dated June 6, 1941.

    The Herszkowicz family photographs consist of pre-World War II photographs of the Herszkowicz family of Łódź, Poland, dated 1919-1940. Included among the photographs are Jankel Herszkowicz, Dawid Herszkowicz, Sala Herszkowicz walking in Łódź with cousin Wiktor Miedzyrecki, and Moniek Herszkowicz.
    The Dworzecka family photographs consist of pre-World War II photographs of the Dworzecka/Dworzecki family of Vilna, Poland (now Vilna, Lithuania), dated circa 1908-1937. The photographs include images of the Dworzecki family, Wita Dworzecka, Lulek Eliahu Dworzecki, Arkadius Dworzecki, Jakub Dworzecki, Helena Dworzecka, Chaim Korerman, and photographs of Mołczadź, Poland (now Moŭčadž, Belarus) circa 1930.
    inclusive:  circa 1909-1948
    Credit Line
    United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Alicia Herszkowicz Dworzecka
    Collection Creator
    Maria Dworzecka
    Maria Dworzecka (born Marysia Rozenszajn, 1941- ) was born on June 19, 1941 to Izak (Wlodek) Rozenszajn (d. 1941) and Bela Rozenszajn (Bella, née Kaufman, 1909-1948). Bela Rozenszajn was born in 1909 in Pinsk (now Belarus) and had been active in the Communist party since 1929. Bela moved to Warsaw, Poland where she met Izak Rozenszajn. After the start of World War II, they fled to Białystok, Poland which was located within the Soviet sector. Their daughter Marysia was born in the Białystok ghetto on June 19, 1941. Three days later, Germany launched a surprise invasion of the Soviet Union. Eight days after his daughter’s birth, Izak was either killed during the “Red Friday” massacre on June 27, 1941, or in the bombing of Białystok also in June 1941. In February 1943, Bela and her daughter escaped from the Białystok ghetto using false identification papers issued under the false name Paulina Pakulska. They settled in Tykocin, Poland where Bela worked as a laundress for two unidentified Polish communist women. In November 1943, the two Polish women were killed by members of the Narodowe Siły Zbrojne (NSZ), a nationalist and anti-Semitic underground military organization. Afterwards, Bela was arrested by the Gestapo and is believed to have been sent to the Auschwitz concentration camp where she passed as a Polish political prisoner. Two year old Marysia was left by herself in Tykocin. According to family lore, she was discovered wandering the street by Lucyna and Wacław Białowarczuk, teachers without any children of their own. Recognizing Maria as an orphaned Jewish child, the Białowarczuks cared for her throughout the war.

    Bela Rozenszajn survived imprisonment in Auschwitz and Ravensbrück concentration camps. In April 1945 she was transferred from Ravensbrück to Gothenburg, Sweden through the Folke Bernadotte initiative. After recovering in Sweden, Bela returned to Tykocin in February 1946, where she was reunited with her daughter. Bela and Maria moved to Warsaw, Poland in May 1946. Two years later, Bela Rozenszajn was killed in a car accident. Maria lived with her maternal uncle, Marian Komanski (Mosze Kaufman) and his family for a period of time. Eventually ten year old Maria was adopted by friends of her mother, Alicja Dworzecka (formerly Sala Herszkowicz) and her husband, Arkadiusz Dworzecki. Maria remained in close contact with her wartime rescuers, the Białowarczuks. Maria stayed in Poland until 1968 and then immigrated to the United States. On October 1, 1990 Lucyna and Waclaw Białowarczuk were recognized by Yad Vashem as Righteous among the Nations.

    Alicja Dworzecka (Ala / Sala, born Laja Sala Herszkowicz) is the daughter of Jankel Herszkowicz (d.1944) and Chaja Gitla Herszkowicz (née Fortunska). She was born May 22, 1912 in Łódź, Poland, where her father worked as a merchant. Alicja had two brothers: Dawid (b. 1910) and Moniek (b. 1914). Alicja married Antoni Grosman in 1938. Soon after the German invasion of Poland the couple fled to the Soviet Union. Antoni was arrested and deported to a Soviet labor camp, where he perished. Alicja settled temporarily in Kokanda, Uzbekistan. In 1943 she joined a newly formed division of the Polish Army in the Soviet Union. She remained with the unit until reaching Warsaw, Poland in 1945. Alicja is the sole survivor of her immediate family. Her mother and younger brother died in the Łódź ghetto; her father was deported to Auschwitz concentration camp and killed in August 1944; and her older brother perished in a labor camp in Germany. Soon after her arrival in Warsaw, Alicja met and later married Arkadiusz Dworzecki.

    Arkadiusz Dworzecki was born on June 11, 1910 to Jakub and Helena Dworzecki. He had two siblings: Wita (b. 1912) and Lulek (b. 1914). They lived in Vilna, Poland (now Vilna, Lithuania). Arkadiusz studied chemistry at the university in Warsaw during the late 1930s. With the outbreak of World War II, he returned to Vilna. Months later he was sent to work at an ammunition factory in the Ural Mountains by the Soviet authorities who were then in control of Vilna. His parents, who remained in Vilna, perished in the ghetto. His sister, Wita, died while fighting with the partisans in the forests. His brother Lulek’s fate is unknown. After the war Arkadiusz returned to Warsaw, Poland where he met and married Sala Herszkowicz in July 1945. After the death of their friend Bela Kaufman (also known as Paula Pakulska), the Dworzeckis adopted Bela’s daughter ten year old daughter, Marysia (now Maria Dworzecka).

    Physical Details

    Polish German Swedish
    5 folders
    System of Arrangement
    The Rosenszajn, Herszkowicz, and Dworzecka families papers are arranged in two series.

    Series 1: Biographical materials, 1942-1945
    Series 2: Photographs, circa 1908-1948

    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

    Dr. Maria Dworzecka donated the Maria Dworzecka papers to the United State Holocaust Memorial Museum in 2002. This was assigned the accession number 2002.273.1. In 1999 and 2000, Alicja Dworzecka donate two collections to the Museum which were assigned the accession numbers 1999.271.1 and 2004.418. All these collections have been unified and assigned the catalog number 1999.271.2.
    Funding Note
    The cataloging of this collection has been supported by a grant from the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany.
    Primary Number
    Record last modified:
    2023-04-11 09:30:20
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