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A Jewish couple poses on a street in Lublin.

Photograph | Digitized | Photograph Number: 23484

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    A Jewish couple poses on a street in Lublin.
    A Jewish couple poses on a street in Lublin.

Pictured are Majer and Sylka Sztajman.


    A Jewish couple poses on a street in Lublin.

    Pictured are Majer and Sylka Sztajman.
    Before 1939
    Lublin, [Lublin] Poland
    Variant Locale
    Photo Credit
    United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, courtesy of Marion Weinzweig

    Rights & Restrictions

    Photo Source
    United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
    Copyright: United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
    Provenance: Marion Weinzweig
    Source Record ID: Collections: 2003.412

    Keywords & Subjects

    Administrative Notes

    Marion Weinzweig (born Mania Sztajman) is the daughter of Majer and Sylka (Fefer) Sztajman. The family lived in Opatow, Poland, where Majer owned a flour mill along with his father and brothers. Sylka returned to Opatow to give birth to Mania in May 1941. The exact date of her birth is unknown. When Mania was a few weeks old, other family members returned to Opatow and shortly thereafter were forced into the local ghetto. In September 1942, as the situation became more dangerous, Mania's parents gave most of their furniture and money to some farmers in exchange for taking in Mania. This arrangement lasted only a few weeks when the farmers left her on the doorstep of a convent with the name Marisha Ropelewska. The nuns took her in believing that the blonde, blue-eyed baby was Christian. On the eve of the ghetto's liquidation in October 1942, Majer's father extracted a promise from his eight children to find Mania, the only grandchild, should any of them survive. Sylka was deported to Treblinka where she was murdered. Majer was deported to Auschwitz and later sent on a death march that ended in Buchenwald. He was liberated in April 1945. The convent in Klimontow where Mania had been living originally had been bombed by the Germans late in the war. The children had been relocated, and Majer's sister, Fela Sztajman, found Mania at the convent in Koniow. The nuns refused to release Mania without payment for the three and a half years they had kept her. Majer returned to Opatow where he begged 5000 zlotys from the Kielce Jewish Committee for the redemption of Mania. After her release, the two then went to Lodz to join his sisters, Fela and Ruth. From there, the remnants of the family made their way to Woerth an der Donau (Bavaria), where Majer's brother, Yaakov, and his wife Toba, had settled. Mania had a long and difficult time adjusting to her new identity as a Jew. When her father first came to reclaim her, five-year-old Mania was repelled by him because of his Jewish appearance, which she associated with the killers of her beloved Jesus. For the next three or more years, Mania repeatedly would slip away from her father and relatives to run into a church to pray and stop nuns on the street and kiss their habits. She also secretly prayed in her room to Jesus on a regular basis, even though she risked punishment if she was caught. The Sztajmans remained in Woerth an der Donau for three years until they secured immigration papers to Canada. Mania settled in Toronto with her aunt and uncle, Toba and Yaakov Sztajman.
    Record last modified:
    2019-11-27 00:00:00
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