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A Polish Jewish couple poses on a bridge with their adopted daughter and biological niece.

Photograph | Digitized | Photograph Number: 16013

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    A Polish Jewish couple poses on a bridge with their adopted daughter and biological niece.
    A Polish Jewish couple poses on a bridge with their adopted daughter and biological niece.

Pictured are Sara, Krystyna (Lindenbaum) and Bernard Kuniegis.


    A Polish Jewish couple poses on a bridge with their adopted daughter and biological niece.

    Pictured are Sara, Krystyna (Lindenbaum) and Bernard Kuniegis.
    Circa 1945 - 1947
    Warsaw, Poland
    Variant Locale
    Photo Credit
    United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, courtesy of Krystyna Linden

    Rights & Restrictions

    Photo Source
    United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
    Copyright: United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
    Provenance: Krystyna Linden

    Keywords & Subjects

    Administrative Notes

    Krystyna Linden (born Krystyna Lindenbaum) is the daughter of Leon (Lutek) Lindenbaum and Rozalia (Rutka) Labenska Lindenbaum. Before the war, Lutek worked as an engineer. Krystyna was born on September 9, 1942 in the Warsaw ghetto. Three days earlier, on September 6, during a massive deportation action, all ghetto inmates were forced to gather at a square at Zamenhoff and Gesia Street. Only those Jews who were employed by German workshops had "life numbers" exempting them from deportation. During the selection, Rutka held a raincoat over her belly and stood between Lutek's sister and brother-in-law, Renia and Michal Landau, to successfully mask her pregnancy. Rutka and Lutek had a small room in the compounf of the Schultze workshop. On the 9th of September 1942, Rutka gave birth to a baby girl, Krystyna Krysia, with the assistance of Dr. Solowiejczyk. Jews in the workshop bribed the German guards to allow Rutka to keep her child. Two weeks later they wrapped the baby in newspapers, and a close Polish friend, Mary Gasinska, smuggled her in a wicker basket to the Aryan side. Krysia was taken to Zolwin, a village near Warsaw. A childless woman Mrs. Janiszewska agreed to take her in. Mrs. Janiszewska received money for Krysia's upkeep and cared for the baby for almost five years.

    Renia and Michal fled the ghetto in February 1943, and Lutek and Rutka, Krysia's parents, managed to escape in April 1943, just before the ghetto uprising. They found a hiding place with Mr. Czechorowski in the Grochow section of Warsaw. Renia joined her brother and sister-in-law while her husband hid somewhere else. The three hiding Jews were unable to move, cough, sneeze or use the bathroom during the day and most of the evening. After a few weeks, the owner of the house expelled them under the pretext that the Germans were coming. He took them to an open field and abandoned them. After a rainy night Renia decided to leave and look for her husband. Though Lutek and Rutka tried to dissuade her, Renia managed to safely reach her husband. Soon afterwards a Polish couple discovered Lutek and Rutka in the field and called the police. The Polish police brought Krysia's parents to the Gestapo who executed them at a nearby cemetery. Zygmunt, a Polish policeman, later provided Renia with details of their death. Renia and Michal Landau succeeded in reaching "Hotel Polski" and registered for Palestinian certificates as siblings: Rebecca and Leon Lindenbaum. On July 7, 1943 they and some 2,800 other Jews were brought to Bergen-Belsen International camp. They were among the 300 Jews with Palestinian papers to survive the war; the others were deported to Auschwitz and murdered.

    Another sister of Lutek, Sara Lindenbaum had married Bernard Kuniegis before the war and had given birth to a son Jerzy Edward Kuniegis in the mid 1930s. Sara and Bernard survived the war under the false identities of Waclaw and Janina Kierski. Immediately after liberation, Sara and Bernard recovered Krysia from Mrs. Janiszewska and eventually adopted her. Jerzyk, their own child, did not survive. They never told Krysia that she was adopted or that they had had a son. During the first years after the war, Mrs. Janiszewska arrived in Warsaw every year at Christmas time to bring Krysia a small tree and treats, but the little girl hid from her. In 1954 Krysia looked through different family papers and discovered that she was in fact adopted, but she didn't reveal this to her parents. In 1962, after one year of law school at the Warsaw University, Krysia immigrated to Israel, and her parents followed soon after.
    Record last modified:
    2009-05-14 00:00:00
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