....In Lublin she'd never told me that I was her child, despite all
my provocations. I wanted to hear it clearly. I didn't.
I often pushed our conversation in the direction of what had happened
in Lyntupy (Emilia and Piotr Waszkinel had lived there before the war
right up to its beginnings) and Swieciany where they had lived during
the war up till its end.
*We were having just such a conversation in the Kitchen over supper
on February 23rd 1978. We spoke about Swieciany and the war period.
Suddenly I asked her straight out:
"Mum what about the Jews? Did you know any Jews in Swieciany?
She looked at me and fell silent as though she were struggling with
"Romek she began after a while "you know very well that
when the Germans came in 1941...".
Her voice trembled and her eyes were full of tears. I held her hands
and kissed them, asking her to finally tell me the whole truth. And
then, for the first time in my life I heard:
"You had wonderful parents who loved you very much they were Jewish,
they were murdered. But I saved your life".
I had expected this reply, had awaited it, yet when I heard it my head
started spinning... .
I regained my senses... I won't explain what I felt then. I just remember
that the first question I blurted our was:
"Mother, why did you cover-up the truth for so long?"
"Don't you remember" she said through her tears "what
you said in Pasleka when you were standing in front of the mirror? Remember?
It hurt me so much, and that's when I decided that I would never tell
you the truth. Now you've changed...".
My whole body was tense, waiting to hear more.
"If it weren't for your mother..."she began."You had
a wonderful, good, wise mother... I was afraid, so afraid. The punishment
for saving Jews, even infants like yourself, was death. As you know,
we didn't have our own apartment, we rented a room. I explained all
of this to your mother when I was in the ghetto. She listened, but didn't
seem to hear. She looked at me and her sad eyes you have your mother's
eyessaid more than words. "He sees everything" she repeated
"life is in His hands, but we should at least try to save those
who are unable to save themselves. Please, save my child, my baby...
you are a believer, a Christian, you told me that you believe in Jesus.
He was Jewish after all! So please save this baby in the name of That
Jew who you believe in. When the little one grows up he'll become a
priest, you'll see, he'll teach people... "
for the rest go to http://www.znak.com.pl/eurodialog/ed/2/weksler.html.en