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Portrait of Irka Cymerman, a Polish Jew living on a farm in Liw.

Photograph | Digitized | Photograph Number: 17954

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    Portrait of Irka Cymerman, a Polish Jew living on a farm in Liw.
    Portrait of Irka Cymerman, a Polish Jew living on a farm in Liw.


    Portrait of Irka Cymerman, a Polish Jew living on a farm in Liw.
    June 1941
    Liw, Poland
    Photo Credit
    United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, courtesy of Irena Cymerman Wojcik

    Rights & Restrictions

    Photo Source
    United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
    Copyright: United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
    Provenance: Irena Cymerman Wojcik

    Keywords & Subjects

    Photo Designation
    RESCUERS & RESCUED -- Poland

    Administrative Notes

    Irena Wojcik (born Irka Cymerman) is the daughter of Abram Szymon and Pesa (Kohn) Cymerman. She was born July 2, 1926 in Warsaw, where her parents owned a factory and wholesale business located at 32 Nalewki Street. Irka had several brothers and sisters. The Cymerman family resided in Warsaw at Gesia 6. During the German occupation they remained in their own apartment because it was already within the confines of the ghetto. In June 1941 Irka and her sister Ala sneaked out of the Warsaw ghetto and went to Ala's in-laws in Liw, 70 km from Warsaw. Their stay was prolonged when Irka fell ill. During this period the sisters befriended Wladyslaw Wojcik, a Christian. The sisters returned to the ghetto in July of 1941. Irka was forced to work in the Toebbens factory sewing military uniforms for the Germans. Wladyslaw visited the Cymerman family several times, often bringing them food and medication. He told Mr. and Mrs. Cymerman that if Irka were able to leave the ghetto he would help her. Irka lived in the ghetto until Yom Kippur of 1942. She then escaped and went into hiding with the help of Wladyslaw Wojcik. After a couple of months in hiding she was forced to return to the ghetto after several Polish people exposed her Jewish identity to the Gestapo. Upon her return to the ghetto, she resumed her work at Toebbens. She escaped the ghetto again a few weeks before the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising of April 1943. Wladyslaw Wojcik continued to place her in different hiding places. She was on a farm in Sadolesie and later returned to Warsaw and lived in hiding on the Aryan side. She often was recognized and always was on the run, often staying in one location for only a couple of days. After liberation Irka married her rescuer. Yad Vashem formally recognized Wladislaw Wojcik as one of the Righteous Among the Nations in 1966 for helping several Jewish people, including a four year old girl and for recognizing the value and securing the Ringleblum Oyneg Shabbos archives after Polish workers uncovered the trove. He then immediately notified the archives to the Jewish Historical Institute in Warsaw. Wojcik also smuggled the Chaim Kaplan diary out of the Warsaw ghetto. Irka's parents, three brothers and two sisters perished during the 1943 Warsaw Ghetto Uprising.
    Record last modified:
    2001-05-24 00:00:00
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