Two anecdotes on the Rozwadów shtetl.
I left Rz when I was 6 months old, to live first in Finland (my mother, who died a few
months ago, z''l, was born in Finland, and from what she used to tell us as kids didn't
particularly enjoy living in the Shtetl. We were as you know on the River San, and
all the siblings of my late father who hadn't left by the time of Brest-Litovsk, spent the
war under difficult but not impossible circumstances in Kazakhstan . I am afraid
that I know no Polish or Yiddish, so cannot help with the translation. By the way, as you
probably know most Poles today tell me that Rozwadów is now part of Stalowa Wola. My
wife, whose father came from Drohobych, and I were in Poland in 1994 and missed visiting
Rozwadów due to bad weather. My late Aunts, Minna Blumenkranz, and Klara Nachtigal, went
back to Rozwadów after the War, their passports having been retored to them by the Soviet
authorities. They left after 24 hours having been told that the people who had taken over
their small hotel (which still stands, apparently) would kill them if they stayed.
They went to Sweden and from there to Clifton, NJ. Well, I guess everyone has stories like
this to tell in the case of survivors of the Holocaust. Cheers for now.
One other anecdote. My first trip to Poland after the War was with a friend in my
Morris ^Minor en route to Moscow. We reached the border between the then GDR and Poland in
August 1961, just a week or so before the Wall went up in Berlin. The Polish frontier
guards looked at my UK passport, which clearly stated that I was born in Rozwadów, and
indicated that UK consular protection did not extend in territories of which the holder
was previously a citizen. Now having been born in Poland I no doubt still had Polish
nationality as far as the Poles were concerned. Anyway, after a few calls between the
almost deserted frontier post at the River Bug and Warsaw, I was given permission to
proceed. We were shown around Warsaw by an Eric Infeld, whom I had met at Cambridge and
was the son of the late Professor of physics, Leopold Infeld, who had spent the War years
in the USA and returned to Poland after the War, essentially on the grounds of his
pro-Communist proclivities. He was a friend and colleague of Einstein. He is abundantly
mentioned in the well-known book, Konin. Eric himself is still in Warsaw, having held a
Chair in Physics and then worked for a research institute. His name is in the Warsaw tel.
directory, but when I tried to call him in Warsaw in 1994 there was no reply. How the
father and son escaped all the purges, I have no idea, but there must be a story there. My
closest friend in Warsaw (non-Jewish) pointed out to me the apartment where Jakub Berman,
the Head of the Security Police under the Bierut regime, was still living, in his 90s,
having never been prosecuted for all the terrible things of which he was guilty in the
worst days of Communism. Well, that's the Polish approach.
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