Monday, October 22, 2007

My Father's Memories of the Property and What the Jews and Poles Lost!

eIn the early 1990s I asked my father about the building that was stolen from him. He described it as the nicest building in Market Square. He explained that it was a two story building. On the first floor was the store and a storeroom. A hallway connected the store to the kitchen and living room. Also on the first floor was a pantry. The pantry's roof was removed on Sukkot. Tree branches replaced the roof to serve as a Sukkah. The back exist led into the backyard. In the backyard was the outhouse and a shed. The shed held wood and coal for the fireplaces and stove. The shed was also used to keep geese and chickens during the holiday season. The Upstairs consisted of 4--6 bedrooms. There was a shortage of beds. My father and his siblings slept two to a bed. My father slept in the same bed with his brother, Arizel, from 1920 to 1939.
Since most of the Jews lived in town and operated most of the stores, the town's business section virtually shut down for Jewish Holidays and the Jewish Sabbath. The Jewish children would play soccer in the town center during these holidays. Since the Neuman building was right across the street from the town center, the Neuman children played with their friends in the town center.
If the Holocaust never occurred and the Poles would have been a little hospitable to the Jews, one can imagine that I and my brother and sister would have been playing in Market Square. And yes, my children and my sister's children would have played there. And finally, my children's children and my sister children's children would have one day played in the Market Square next to the Neuman building in Radziejow. How sad for us and sad for the citizens of Radziejow.
For the Jews of Radziejow were not "parasites" as the antisemitic citizens of Poland would have liked everyone to believe. My father said that the Polish farmers needed a doctor, a tailor, a baker, a place to buy general merchandise. The Jews provided the Poles with these services. But instead of cherishing these citizens, a large number of Poles agreed with Hitler and were happy the day when the Nazis shipped the Jews out of Radziejow to Chelmo. Those Jews never returned. Instead, they were placed in gas trucks and murdered!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

hi. i don't know you but even if nothing had happened in europe, if your father met your mother in the US, then I don't think that you would have been playing in the square; it would have been a different child.

please understand that i don't say this to diminish your father's suffering and torment: I am the restitutions officer for a large jewish community, in an english-speaking country not in the US. i spend my days (and sometimes, like tonight,) nights working for the benefit of survivors, one by one and i am NOT of the communal leadership in NYC or Frankfurt who barter away the rights of survivors all over europe.

i wish i knew of some way to help you but i have NEVER come across any property returned by polish authorities, ever. but please. if you have the koach, keep fighting them: you might be able to deliver the precedent that we all need.

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