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When I started this research, I knew nothing at all about my father’s life in Poland during WWII. But the advice I often provide to others who ask for my opinion regarding genealogical research, served me well. Do not be discouraged, I would tell them, if you find nothing at all about your family. Each day tons of new historical and genealogical material are displayed on the Internet. Just check from time to time and one day you will discover something of value. And, indeed, one of the periodical checks brought a totally unexpected finding: a 1944 letter to my father written by Hersz Wasser, one of the collaborators of Emanuel Ringelblum, the famous leader of the “Oneg Shabat” group in the Warsaw ghetto. The letter, uploaded to the Internet by the Ghetto Fighters Archives in Israel, started a chain of events which enabled me to write this reconstruction of my father’s life during WWII.

My thanks go, first of all, to Ms. Irena Rybczynska-Holland who faithfully kept 8 letters written to her by my father in 1943 and then in 2014 donated them, as well as, a number of labels he designed, to the Museum of the History of Polish Jews in Warsaw which very kindly provided copies of the letters, of their English translation and of an extensive oral testimony submitted by Ms. Rybczynska-Holland. Prof. Barbara Engelking, who, inter alia, does research on Jews living on the ”Aryan” side in Warsaw, alerted me to the existence of the letters and answered my many additional questions. Heather and Chris Malinowski, children of my father’s first cousin, Irena Malinowska nee Majorek, provided her important oral testimony in Polish and its English translation. Dr. Peter Feuerman sent me a copy of the very crucial photograph taken on the brink of clay pit in Chylice. Dr. Natalia Aleksjun researched for me the archives of the Faculty of Architecture of the Warsaw University of Technology and the archivists of the Polish State Archives in Kalisz and in Lodz provided copies of documents regarding my family.


Many others provided information, advice and encouragement: Prof. Havi Dreyfuss, Noam Rachmilevitch of the Ghetto Fighters House Archive, Dr. Katarzyna Person and Matan Shefi of the Jewish Historical Institute in Warsaw, Noam Leibman and Netta Ehrlich, both of whom recently researched the Jewish Police in the Warsaw ghetto. Last but not least I would like to thank my wife, our children and grandchildren for their lasting support without which I would not embark on this project at all.

All the documents quoted in this work were originally written in Polish and, except for Anek’s letters to Irena Rybczynska, were translated into English by myself. Photos and documents where no source is mentioned come from my family collection.

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