Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Anna, a young woman in the photo

More from Anna on Przemysl during the war:
Thank you for trying to help me to find the fate of my dentist Mr. Rosenblueth and his family.

I explain to you my friendly connection with him. He attended to my teeth for a number of years, as I needed correction as a little girl of eight. I and my parents were very grateful to him and later we became friends. Unfortunately, when the Germans bombed Przemysl on 7th Sept.1939 his house was hit and burned to the ground. He only managed to save his skeleton dentist chair which he transported to my parents at Dworskiego for safe keeping.
I email Anna and asked her three questions. First, "In the photo, which one are you?"
1. I am in the photo Anna Switalska in the first row second from the left between my friend Dziunia Gottdank and Maria Jurasz. (see below)
Next, I asked, "Are you Jewish?"
2. I am Polish but I had many Jewish friends.
And finally, "How did you and your family survive the war?"

3. This is a long story. When the war started I was 15 and still a pupil at the secondary school, Gimnazjum Kupieckie at Dworskiego 25. The Russians occupied half of Przemysl up to the river San. They evicted us from our flat and we had to live for 2 whole years in the cellars while they have enjoyed living in our flat including the kitchen. They re-named the school Molotow which I attended for further 2 years. When the Germans invaded Przemysl in June 1941, the Russian fled and we were able to get back into our flat. The Germans re-named the school Hoehere Handels Fachschule which I continued to attend until matriculation.

Then suddenly my father broke his leg. The Germans did not allow to send an ambulance for Poles, so it took 3 hours to wait for a passing cart to take him to hospital with an open wound. There was only one Ukrainian doctor and no penicillin. My father got gangrene and died at the age of 60.

After his death my mother's family in Vienna arranged for my mother and me to join them. As a foreigner (born in Poland) I had to clear the streets of Vienna after bombing in order to receive ration cards for food. When the war ended I could not believe that I am still alive. Through the British Cross in Vienna I managed to trace my brother who was missing for 6 years. He fought the Germans in the South (Tobruk, Monte Cassino etc.) with the Polish Army under Gen. Anders. My mother and I went immediately to Innsbruck and went to the Polish Red Cross. We paid 10 Dollars each to be taken by foot at night through the Alps (Brenner Pass) over the border to Italy to join my brother. We met in Verona and then went to Cingolli where he was stationed. After a month he brought the message from his Headquarters that all Poles cannot return to Poland because the Russians are still there and half of Poland in Russia, but Britain allowed them to come and live in England with their families.

We traveled to Britain and I am still living here, married with two grown up sons. My husband and I visited Przemysl once and I still have some friends there and am corresponding with them.
She concluded her note with a question back to me, and to all of this blog's readers:
By the way, who sent you the photograph? Are any of my Jewish colleagues and friends in the photo still alive?

Warm regards, Anna.
Did any of the young Jewish students in the photo survive the holocaust? I don't know.

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Blogger Pilland said...

Just to complete Your interesting report, I invite You to give a look at the gallery of political borders from all the world in my Italian-Estonian site http://www.pillandia.blogspot.com
Best wishes!

5:47 AM  

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