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Group portrait of Jewish refugees women with their babies in the Soviet town of Novo Troick.

Photograph | Not Digitized | Photograph Number: 24592

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    Group portrait of Jewish refugees women with their babies in the Soviet town of Novo Troick.

    Pictured seating on the left is the donor, Irena Gilert with her son Edward (born on the 13th of March 1944) and standing is Karola Wajs with her son Aleksander.
    Circa 1944 March 13
    Novo Troick, [Kirghiz; Frunze] USSR
    Photo Credit
    United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, courtesy of Adam and Irena Gilert

    Rights & Restrictions

    Photo Source
    United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
    Copyright: United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
    Provenance: Adam and Irena Gilert
    Source Record ID: Collections: 2004.276.1

    Keywords & Subjects

    Administrative Notes

    Adam Gilert is the middle son of Szmuel Gilert and Nechama Szychman Gilert. He was born on January 16, 1919 in Warsaw where his father worked as a baker. His older brother, Bernard, was born in 1914 and his younger brother Izaak was born in 1920. The family's economic situation was very difficult at times. After graduating from high school, Adam studied literature and psychology courses at the "Free University" and at the Warsaw branch of YIVO. From an early age Adam was involved in the Communist youth organization "Pioneer" and participated in their illegal summer camps. In 1936 he joined the Communist organization "KZMP" (Communist Organization of Polish Youth) and was in charge of the leaflet distribution for the metal workers association. Adam met Irena Cukierman (born in Warsaw on the 31st of December 1921) in the "Pioneer" organization. She was the youngest daughter of Rachel Rozka Jagodowicz and Szlomo Cukierman, a sculptor, and had three siblings. After finishing elementary school Irena started to attend the Warsaw Opera's ballet school. She was mistreated in the school and after a short while she left and started to work in a textile factory. After the German attack on Poland on September 1, 1939, Adam, his brother Izaak and a group of friends left Warsaw and walked eastwards. They reached Lvov on September 17, 1939, where Irena joined them. Together they continued their journey and reached Gomel in Belorussia in November. Adam found employment there in a machine factory, and Irena worked in a textile factory. Following the German invasion of the Soviet Union in June 1941, the factory was evacuated to Sverdlovsk. However, Polish citizens they were not allowed to stay in the district capital, so the whole group moved to Chelabinsk. There, Adam worked as a metal operator in a machine factory. The winter that year was unusually cold and Izaak contracted pneumonia. Adam and Irena and two other couples were expelled from Chelabinsk, and only Izaak remained. The group managed to reach Novo Troick, near Frunze and Adam got a job in an electrical power building company. In January 1944 Adam was drafted into the Red Army. On March 13, 1944 Irena gave birth to Edward, their first child. Adam returned from the army in June. On October 3, 1945 Irena gave birth to a daughter Liliana in Khantagi in Kazakhstan, where Adam was working in a sugar factory. In May 1946 the Gilert family repatriated to Szczecin, Poland only to discover that none of their family members in Warsaw had survived. Irena developed tuberculosis and had to be hospitalized in a sanatorium in Otwock near Warsaw. Adam took a job as a guard in a Jewish children's home and later became an administrator of a Jewish youth home in Warsaw. At the same time he finished a bookkeeping course. From 1948 Adam was employed in the Polish Ministry of Foreign Affairs and was posted for three years to Paris. After graduating with a degree in International Organizations, he worked for the Polish Academy of Sciences and for the Jewish Committee organizing summer camps for Jewish youth in Poland. During the last year of his residence in Poland Adam worked for the Polish Jewish newspaper "Folks Sztyme" (Our Voice.) Irena and Adam Gilert left Poland in October 1969 and settled in Jerusalem, Israel.
    Record last modified:
    2013-09-24 00:00:00
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