The House at Ujazdowskie 16
154 pages

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Two generations rebuild their lives in Poland after the Holocaust

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In a turn-of-the-century, once elegant building at 16 Ujazdowskie Avenue in the center of Warsaw, 10 Jewish families began reconstructing their lives after the Holocaust. While most surviving Polish Jews were making their homes in new countries, these families rebuilt on the rubble of the Polish capital and created new communities as they sought to distance themselves from the memory of a painful past. Based on interviews with family members, intensive research in archives, and the families' personal papers and correspondence, Karen Auerbach presents an engrossing story of loss and rebirth, political faith and disillusionment, and the persistence of Jewishness.

Glossary of names
1 "History Brushed Against Us": The Adlers and the Bergmans
2 The Jewish Families of 16 Ujazdowskie Avenue, 1900-1948
3 "The Entire Nation Builds Its Capital": Ujazdowskie Avenue and Reconstructed Warsaw
4 "Stamp of a Generation": Parents and Children
5 "Ostriches in the Wilderness": Children and Parents
6 "Finding the Eradicated Traces of the Path": Seeds of Revival
Epilogue: Present and Past
Bibliography and works cited



Publié par
Date de parution 13 juin 2013
Nombre de lectures 0
EAN13 9780253009159
Langue English
Poids de l'ouvrage 16 Mo

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THE MODERN JEWISH EXPERIENCE Deborah Dash Moore and Marsha L. Rozenblit, editors Paula Hyman, founding coeditor
This book was made possible in part by support from the Schwartz Fund.
This book is a publication of
Indiana University Press Office of Scholarly Publishing Herman B Wells Library 350 1320 East 10th Street Bloomington, Indiana 47405 USA
Telephone orders 800-842-6796 Fax orders 812-855-7931
© 2013 by Karen Auerbach All rights reserved
No part of this book may be reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying and recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publisher. The Association of American University Presses’ Resolution on Permissions constitutes the only exception to this prohibition.
The paper used in this publication meets the minimum requirements of the American National Standard for Information
Sciences-Permanence of Paper for Printed Library Materials, ANSI Z39.48-1992.
Manufactured in the United States of America
Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data
Auerbach, Karen, author. The house at Ujazdowskie 16 : Jewish families in Warsaw after the Holocaust / Karen Auerbach. pages cm. — (The modern Jewish experience) Includes bibliographical references and index. ISBN 978-0-253-00907-4 (cl : alk. paper) — ISBN 978-0-253-00915-9 (eb) 1. Jews—Poland— Warsaw—Biography. 2. Jews—Poland—Warsaw—Social conditions—20th century. 3. Jews—Poland —Warsaw—Social conditions—21st century. 4. Jews—Poland—Warsaw—Social life and customs. 5. Jews—Homes and haunts—Poland—Warsaw—History. 6. Warsaw (Poland)—Buildings, structures, etc. —History. I. Title. DS134.7.A57 2013 940.53’18140943841—dc23 2013003910
1 2 2 3 4 5 18 17 16 15 14 13
Marsha Moses Auerbach, In loving memory
Oh, gateways of Warsaw! … Are there not apartment houses with gateways outside of Warsaw? There are. Perhaps they exist everywhere, yet only in Warsaw does the gateway of a home define somehow the life of several generations. Oh, gateways of Warsaw! Whatever can I dedicate to you now, I, a chronicler searching for barely perceptible shadows? A handful of chaotic memories. … I know only that in your chilly semidarkness, among your strange and extravagant ornamental molding and pseudo-Renaissance cornices, we discovered our Dzikie Pola,we, boys from the floors, our first bruises and our first bloody noses. … And as with everything in this strange city, you, too, gateways of Warsaw, appeared in downright strangeness and misery in the noblest heroism without posing, pomposity or lofty words, rather with a lightly vulgar scream, just as it is done in Warsaw. —LEOPOLD TYRMAND, ZŁY
Dzikie Pola: Wild fields, referring to the eastern steppes of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. The term here also refers to a children’s role-playing game that is acted out in the term’s historical context. Tyrmand, born in 1920, was from a prewar Polonized Jewish family in Warsaw. He was a journalist in postwar Poland before he emigrated in 1965 and settled in the United States.
Residents of 16 Ujazdowskie Avenue
1 History Brushed against Us: The Adlers and the Bergmans
2 The Families of 16 Ujazdowskie Avenue, 1900–1948
3 The Entire Nation Builds Its Capital: Ujazdowskie Avenue and Reconstructed Warsaw
4 Stamp of a Generation: Parents and Children
5 Ostriches in the Wilderness: Children and Parents 6 Finding the Obliterated Traces of the Path: Seeds of Revival Epilogue: Present and Past
Notes Bibliography Index
Thisproject has benefited from the assistance and generosity of many individuals. I would like first of all to express my gratitude to Antony Polonsky, whose guidance and wealth of knowledge as my doctoral advisor at Brandeis University influenced every aspect of this book. David Cesarani, ChaeRan Freeze, Seamus O’Hanlon, Jonathan Plaut, Jonathan Sarna, and Eugene Sheppard provided feedback on all or parts of the manuscript. The steadfast support of Marc Brettler and Ellie Kellman helped make it possible to see this project through to completion, and Michael Steinlauf’s work on postwar Poland pointed me toward doctoral studies. Israel Bartal and Gabriella Safran commented on sections of the dissertation on which this book is based as part of the International Forum of Young Scholars on East European Jewry, as did David Biale, Laura Levitt, and other participants in the Posen Summer Seminar on Approaches to Jewish Secularism. Sylvia Fuks Fried was always willing to offer helpful advice. Deborah Dash Moore’s comments significantly improved this book, and she facilitated its publication as coeditor of Indiana University Press’s Modern Jewish Experience series. I am indebted as well to the late Paula Hyman, who was the series’ coeditor, and to its current coeditor, Marsha Rozenblit, for their comments. This book would not have been possible without the support of Janet Rabinowitch at Indiana University Press, where Peter Froehlich and Nancy Lightfoot also shepherded me through the publishing process and freelancer Carol Kennedy copyedited the manuscript. I pursued this project in several wonderfully supportive environments. I benefited from the insights of colleagues at the University of Southampton in England and the religious studies faculty at Virginia Tech, and I completed the final stages of writing at Monash University in Melbourne, Australia, where new colleagues in the European history research support group gave thoughtful feedback, and where the Australian Centre for Jewish Civilisation provided me with a home on the other side of the world. Conny Aust, Michael Cohen, Adam Mendelsohn, Simon Rabinovitch, Monika Rice, David Slucki, Melissa Weininger, and Kalman Weiser have helped to form a collegial circle in Jewish studies. I am especially grateful to the Frankel Institute for Advanced Judaic Studies at the University of Michigan, where a postdoctoral fellowship in 2010–2011 gave me the needed time to write this book, and to the American Council of Learned Societies, the American Society for Jewish Heritage in Poland, the Kościuszko Foundation, the YIVO Institute for Jewish Research, the Tauber Institute for the Study of European Jewry, and the Department of Near Eastern and Judaic Studies at Brandeis University for grants and fellowships that funded my research and training. Previous versions of portions of chapter 4 of this book appeared in “‘Nusekh Poyln’? Communism, Publishing, and Paths to Polishness among the Jewish Parents of 16 Ujazdowskie Avenue,”Polin: Studies in Polish Jewry24: 275–297, 2012. Previous versions of portions of chapter 6 and the epilogue appeared in “Elders Transmit Holocaust Memory in Vivid Detail to Younger Interviewers: In Warsaw, Ghetto Buildings Are a Palimpsest of the Past,”ForwardYork, N.Y.], April 16, 1999, 15; “Youngsters [New Rebuild Life in Poland, Then Decamp for Israel, America: A Revival Turns Complicated in a Haunted Land,”ForwardYork, N.Y.], December 18, 1998, 1; and “Natan Cywiak, 81, Was Stalwart of [New Warsaw Synagogue,”Forward[New York, N.Y.], May 28, 1999, 6. I am deeply indebted to my interviewees, who were generous with their time as they helped to reconstruct their family histories. This work would not have been possible without the assistance of the “children” of Ujazdowskie 16 and their relatives: Marian Adler, Halina Adler-Bramley, Lena Bergman, Feliks Falk, Krystyna Heldwein, Bernard Krutz, Jurek Neftalin, Włodek Paszyński, Szymon Rudnicki, Jan and Franek Sławny, Piotr Sztuczyński, Liliana Tyszelman, and the late Zofia Zarębska. I amparticularly grateful to Marian Adler and Halina Adler-Bramley for allowing me access to their parents’ personal papers. At the Jewish Historical Institute, which provided me with an academic home in Warsaw, I was assisted by many individuals, especially Edyta Kurek, Monika Natkowska-Tarasowa, Yale Reisner, Agnieszka Reszka, and Feliks Tych. I am continuously inspired by their dedication. Monika Krawczyk has accompanied me through many years of friendship and conversations about postwar Polish Jewish life since my earliest research. I am grateful for the insights and camaraderie of Natalia Aleksiun, Robyn Berman, Michał Bilewicz, August Grabski, Joanna Nalewajko-Kulikov, Martyna Rusyniak, Piotr Rytka-Zandberg, Albert Stankowski, Karolina Szymaniak, Marcin Urynowicz, Wendy Widom, Zosia Wóycicka, and Kasia Żarnecka-Lasota during numerous extended stays in Warsaw. I also benefited from conversations with and assistance from Jerzy W. Borejsza, Helena Datner, Stanisław Krajewski, Adam
Rok, Hanna Węgrzynek, and Andrzej Żbikowski. The late Joanna Wiszniewicz looked after me in Warsaw, and her research on the “1968” generation was a foundation for my own work. Archivists at numerous institutions facilitated my research, including the Polish Ministry of Education, the Institute for National Remembrance, and the Society for the Friends of Children, particularly Wojciech Stojanowski. At the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, Teresa Pollin and Marcel and Ania Drimer shared their experiences in postwar Poland. Mentors and colleagues in journalism helped to shape my research in its earliest stages, especially David Lee Preston, who guided me at the very beginning of my journey, and Lisa Tracy, who encouraged me to embark upon this path. Andrzej Kołuszko and Gennady Kulikov provided help with photography. My family and friends have sustained me through the many years it took to complete this project, especially Glenn Auerbach, Donna Davis, Sandra Hammer, the late Sheryl Lewart, Jeff and Joanna Bauman, Jeff Cioletti, Teri DelGiudice, Eric Fleisch, Tony Gallotto, Jennifer Golson, Rebecca Hartman, Randy Miller, Jenny Roth, and Emily Wax. Debra Margulies’s support was a lifeline for many years. David B. saw me through every obstacle. I am grateful above all to my parents. My father instilled in me a fascination with the past and shared my enthusiasm at every step. My mother taught me by her example what it means to persevere, and I could not have completed this project without her unwavering support. The joy of finishing this book was greatly diminished by the sadness of losing her before she could see the final result. This project has its roots in a 1997 visit to Warsaw to see the childhood home of my grandmother, Hilda Yellin Auerbach, born Hinde Jelen. Her memory started me on this path and accompanied me along the way.
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