idea of the Mystery was inspired by the fact that the Grodzka Gate
was a place which used to link the Jewish town with the Christian one ? it was a symbolic place of meeting between these two towns.
Mystery ?One Land ? Two Temples? was arranged in September 2000. It took place in the
huge area around the Grodzka Gate, where Poles and Jews lived side by
side for hundreds of years. Two non-existent temples: the Great
Synagogue ? in the Jewish town and St. Michael?s Church ? in the
Christian town, were the symbols of the two-culture city, hence the
name of the Mystery: ?One Land ? Two Temples?.
The temples were situated on both sides of the Grodzka Gate. Today a
busy street runs in the place of the synagogue, an empty square is
left where the church used to stand.
of the Mystery stood in the place of the outlines of the foundations
of the church and the synagogue, and along a several-hundred-meter
long road linking two temples, which
runs through the Grodzka Gate. On one side of the Gate ? where the
Jewish town had been, the Holocaust Survivors stood, on the other
side ? where the Christian town had been ? the Righteous Among the
At the beginning of the Mystery, Archbishop Józef Życiński
and Rabbi Michael Schudrich, who stood in the places of the
demolished temples, dug, at the same time, a handful of soil. The
soil in clay vessels was handed round by the Righteous on one side of
the Gate, and by the Holocaust Survivors on the other. Each of them
told his/her story in a few sentences. They were heard by all
participants thanks to loudspeakers placed on both sides of the Gate.
When the vessels got to the Grodzka Gate, Priest Romuald Jakub
Weksler-Waszkinel, a Jewish boy rescued from the Holocaust who,
unaware of his origin, became a Catholic priest, mixed the soil. A
young girl from Lublin and her peer from Israel planted two vine
shrubs in the mixed soil: one from Lublin, the other brought from
>>>> Photo gallery
of the Holocaust Survivors and of the Righteous
Karmi: My name is Icchak Karmi,
previously Wajnryb. I was born in Lublin, at Lubartowska street,
number 61. Here I attended the primary school. On September
6, 1939, after the memorable bombing
of Lublin, following the order of the city defense commander, my
family went to the East, where we were caught by surprise by the Red
Army. We refused to accept the Soviet passports, so we were exiled to
Siberia from where, after General Sikorski?s pact, we were
released. Than we went to Kazakhstan. In 1946, I returned to Poland
due to the repatriation, and in 1950 I went to Israel. There I
graduated from the officer school and served in the army as the
Lieutenant Colonel. Then I graduated from the university and set up a
family. I have a wife, two sons, grandchildren. I am deeply moved by
today?s ceremony. I returned to Lublin for the first time since
Efrati: I was born in Warsaw. I
survived the German occupation in the ghetto. I escaped from the
train to Treblinka several times, I ran from Trawniki, then I lived
as a Pole in Lvov and Tarnopol. Today I live in Israel and work in
the Yad Vashem Institute in
the commission of the Righteous
Among the Nations. I sincerely thank the society of Lublin for
organizing this ceremony.
War, a cruel time, deprived me of identity and Oksana became Wanda.
I owe my life to a Pole, a foster father, who saved both me and my
mother. If he hears me, and he died three years ago, I would like to
pay homage to him and to thank all the noble, heroic people, who not
only saved lives, but were able to raise us up and give love like my
father did. I also want to thank the organizers of today?s
ceremony, which I will remember for many years.
B.: My name is Ludwik. I was born in
Warsaw in 1933. I was moved to the ghetto with my family but in 1941
I escaped. I survived thanks to nuns, who hid me in orphanage in
Turkowice. In 1948, I was moved to Lublin. Here I learned and set up
a family. I have three sons and a daughter.
Budnicka: My name is Krystyna Budnicka,
before the war ? Hena Kuczer. I was born in Warsaw as the youngest,
eighth child in a religious, Jewish family. I was the only one of the
14-people family who survived by hiding in the Warsaw ghetto, in a
bunker ? I escaped through the sewers. On the Aryan side, I survived
in a monastery. I am very happy that this ceremony is organized to
honor the life and martyrdom of the Jewish nation.
I am Maria. As a 6-year-old child I survived the Holocaust and
moments of fear in the East. I am very happy that this ceremony is
taking place and I wish with all my heart that there are no more wars
and that people respect each other. Then the world will be beautiful.
I am Jan, I also survived the Holocaust. I was in a camp, and then
Mr. and Mrs. Stankiewicz helped me.
Biran: I came from Israel. I am a son
of Shandela Ajdelsson of Warsaw, and Mundek Blumenfeld of Rawa Ruska.
My mother lost a husband and a child during the war. My father lost
a wife and three children. After the
liberation, my parents married and went to Israel, where I was born.
I am the second generation after the Holocaust and I must not forget
Shiponi: I come from Italy. I was born
in Florence. I survived the Holocaust as a child. I was saved by
nuns. They raised me up, taught me and thanks to that I can be here
today. My whole family died during the Holocaust.
Litman: I was born in 1933 in Łęczna.
After the breakout of the war, my parents fled from Germans to the
1940, we were exiled to Siberia, to the Altay
mountains. In 1941, after General Sikorski?s pact, we were given
Polish citizenship again and we went to Kazakhstan. After the war, we
returned to Lublin where I live with my family.
Nitzan: Shalom. I survived the
atrocities of the Second World War in Romania. I was saved from
unavoidable death in
the liberation of Bucharest
on August 26, 1944. My eyes saw the
enormity of people?s suffering. We must not forget the Nazi crimes,
and the people, who were swallowed by this terrible war.
Chmielewski: I was born in Rawa Ruska,
in Lvov province of those days. Nowadays, this city lies 5 km from
the Polish border. In the time of war, I helped
Jewish people. They were: Post Klara
- husband?s name Rygier, now she lives in Monachium. Post Efraim ?
lives in New York. Post Dawid ? lives in Israel. Post Abe - lives in
Israel. Graff Herman ? died 14 years ago. Graff Regina ? his wife,
lives in Tel Aviv. Graff Rachela ? Herman`s sister, is dead. Klak
Abraham - address unknown. Hoh Mendele - address unknown. Lewin ? the
wife of Moses Lewin, address unknown. Diller Lazarus ? address
unknown. Diller Saba ? address unknown.
M: My name is Stefan. During the war, I
lived in Nowy Sącz. When the Germans eradicated the ghetto, my
Jewish friends asked me to help their children. I took two girls out
from the ghetto ? Berta Korenman and Helena Szancer. I hid them for a
short time and than I sent them to continue their escape. They were
running from death. Both of them survived the war. Helena went to
Israel in 1968. Berta Korenman set up a family and lived in Lublin,
where she died and was buried in 1992.
Michalewska: My name is Wanda
Michalewska. I saved a little girl whom I brought home with me. She
lived with us from 1942 to 1948. Her name was Róża Bejman and
she came from Lublin. Now she lives in Israel, she has a family and
I lived in the rural area, where I sheltered
two children ? a 13-year-old boy and a 12-year-old girl. After the
war, they left the country with my help. They both live in Brazil
now. The boy?s name was Chaim Romysz and the girl?s name was
Hinda. I cannot remember her last
name because she did not live in this area.
Kuśmierz: My name is
Helena Kuśmierz, family name Cygan. During the
Nazi occupation, me, my brother and my parents saved a Jewish girl -
Sara Zylbersztajn, family name Rajs and my uncles, my mother?s
brothers, lost their lives because of rescuing Jews.
Stankiewicz: I have arrived from
Warsaw, where I live. I represent my parents, who were decorated. I
also helped to hide Jews, because I was old enough at that time. We
managed to save about six people, including Mr. Jan, who is here with
us today. It all happened near Opole Lubelskie, where my father was a
forester. My parents helped Jews in the name of love for a neighbor.
I regret that they did not live to attend this ceremony.
Cygankiewicz: In February 1942, with my
parents and my sister Helena, we hid a Jewish girl - Sara Rajs,
currently Zylbersztajn. When we were denounced, the girl was moved to
Warsaw, where she survived the war. After the war she returned to
Lublin, set up a family and gave birth to 4 children and in 1950 she
moved to Israel. I visited her in 1988. She prepared a grand party
for us with her large family.
Bytniewski: My wife, Danuta Lisicka,
who, during the occupation, lived with her parents in a forester?s
house in Radzyńsk province, hid a Jewish girl ? Ewa Wasserman, who
now lives in Israel.
Zajączkowska: I come from Wołyń,
from a town called Andresówka, near Włodzimierz Wołyński.
We hid a 6-person family brought to us from the ghetto by my brother.
They were hiding in an underground vault dug under the kitchen. They
all survived, and after the war they lived in Canada. They were:
Dawid Wapniarski, his wife Maria, their children Regina, Szymon,
Jankiel and also Maria?s brother, I cannot remember his name. Mr.
and Mrs. Wapniarski are already dead, Maria?s brother too,
probably. We have an occasional contact with their children.
Zajączkowski: During the war, I lived
in Włodzimierz Wołyński, where, with my mother Regina, we hid
(from 1942, to the liberation) refugees from Lvov ? Mrs. Irena
Franziak and her
2-year-old daughter Ania. My and my
wife?s family saved 8 Jewish people.
Spychalska: My name is Wanda
name Laurysiewicz. Together with my
mother, we hid an elderly couple in Warsaw ? Bernard and Felicia
Fejlgut and their granddaughter Ewa. They lived in Krakow before the
war. After the war, Ewa went to Chile. I know that she graduated and
became a doctor. She probably has a daughter, Andrea and a husband. I
would like to find her. If anyone is from Chile, please pass this
message on to her.
During the occupation, I helped the members of the Majster family.
One of them still lives in Warsaw. I am deeply moved by today?s
ceremony. I would like such events to take place more often, to teach
the youth how to live in understanding and love, so that there is no
hatred and distrust.