21 marca 2023 roku odbyło się spotkanie autorskie z Małgorzatą Międzobrodzką w The Jewish Community Centre of Cracow przy ulicy Miodowej 24. Serdecznie dziękujemy organizatorom za zaproszenie oraz pani Agnieszce Kocur-Smoleń za wprowadzenie i przedstawienie autorki...
Wiesław Żyznowski: I bid farewell to Uri Shmueli
His biography is available online and in the publications of our publishing house. My wife Urszula and I met personally and privately some of the last Jews of Wieliczka and we had a different attitude to each one of them. I had the warmest and most admiring one towards Natan Kleinberger. Maybe because he reminded me physically and mentally of my father Zbigniew with whom he had gone to the same school in Wieliczka, two years earlier. The two of them must have stumbled into each other in the school corridor, looked at each other, perhaps trustingly and sympathetically. Natan always lived in an unambiguous manner, i.e. in Poland in Polish, in Israel in Israeli – his publicly available biography does not do justice to his soft as velvet and hard as steel character and complex personality.
He became a renowned professor of chemistry in Israel and abroad specialising in crystallography; he lectured abroad, an intellectual, bookish type, read a lot to the very last of his physical abilities. He was one of the authors of our publishing house. He was a veritable rock for Urszula Żyznowska and Anna Krzeczkowska when they edited the Jews of Wieliczka and Klasno. Although he only heard about Bruno Schulz from me, the distance from Poland did its work. His mother taught him Hebrew from a young age, alongside other languages; they would walk the streets of Krakow and Wieliczka and talk in Hebrew. They created an international atmosphere in the town, which only after so many years began to return to it, but this time thanks to the tourists, not the residents. While still in Krakow, he was fit for living outside of Poland, just as living outside of it he was fit for living in it
Dla wielu ludzi decyzja, dokąd udać się po wojnie była najważniejsza. Naturalnym rozwiązaniem dla wielu polskich Żydów był powrót do kraju i sprawdzenie, czy ktoś z najbliższych przeżył. […] Zrobiłbym pewnie tak samo, gdyby nie rozmowy z innymi więźniami, którzy zostali przeniesieni z obozu w Oświęcimiu przez Mauthausen do Linz III. Wtedy już zrozumiałem, że każda akcja deportacyjna prowadziła do komór gazowych. Zrozumiałem także, że prawdopodobnie jestem jedynym ocalałym z rodziny mamy; byłem bliski prawdy – tylko ja i córka jej brata Józefa przeżyliśmy Holokaust.
Uri Shmueli: „Powrót” [w:] „Żydzi Wieliczki i Klasna”.
I recommended to him maybe a few, or a dozen books written in Polish, all of which he read and commented on. Recently, I pointed him to Erenburg and Grossman’s The Black Book and sent it to him, we emailed about it. Based on the reading of it, I tried to imagine, at least in part the shock of those murdered in the gas chambers of extermination camps like Treblinka and Belzec. Uri’s mother died in the latter place, and he never spoke or wrote about her other than ‘beloved’. He, on his part, tried to understand what a reader who had no loved ones murdered there might imagine and feel. I, for one, was inclined to believe that the reader might get a micrometre closer to the inside of a working gas chamber thanks to an outstanding literary text written almost on the spur of the moment, just after the events it dealt with; Grossman’s Treblinka article comes to mind first. He probably did not believe it.
We knew each other, met and visited each other at home with whole families. He and his wife Magda kept in touch not only with Urszula and me, but also with our sons Tomek and Miłek. He read texts published by our publishing house, followed us on Facebook – as we followed him. I think it flashed through his mind that if he, more than a quarter of a century older than me, died before I did, I would write a memoir about him.
Autor: Wiesław Żyznowski