Monday, May 12, 2008

Zyg and Mea: The Triumph of Love

About Zyg and Mea- by Marguerita

In 1999,after many years of my research ,I found on the Internet a volunteer for the Auschwitz Museum,where my mother was a prisoner when it was a concentration camp. .His name was Stefan Swiszowski. a computer science professor in Krakow.
I asked him to locate the building my mother owned on Lazarza Bozna,which I never was able to find the street ,as I later learned ,since the street had a changed of name after the war by the Communists.The street was called thereafter,Ulica Odona Bujwida.

We had a long exchange of messages. Stefan found the building and went there to investigate the facts I knew through my mother’s stories.He found the widow of the janitor ,Maria still living there and she remembered quite well my mother .She told him how my mother would come to her with clothes for the janitor’s son, from the ghetto in Podgorze,where my mother was forced to live after being forced out by the Gestapo from her home.
Maria also told Stefan,that the Lauers,my mother and her first husband did not have children and according to her I did not exist!

Maria confirmed quite a number of details that matched what I knew.According to Stefan,she refused a second visit when he was supposed to record their talk.Stefan,now tells me that he himself could not pursue any further,as “ the Germans not only killed all Jews of Krakow,but also destroyed all documents and archives”.

That turned out to be a great lie.

Undeterred I continued myself and got in contact with the Krakow Archives on Ulica Sienna, where I was able to find documentation relating to the building and my mother’s ownership.
Once more ,through the Internet I met a former krakowian,living in New York who was also trying to retrieve his families property and he gave me the name of his lawyer.
In 2004,I went to Krakow,my first trip to Poland,went to Court and researched my mother’s history in the Archives of Krakow,where I found 17 documents and to Auschwitz ,meeting Teresa Swiebocka the curator who helped me to get the information about my mother’s arrival there on 22.10.44 : KL Plaszow
brought from Limanowskiego 48-M5. Fleischer/Lauer/Tennenbaum/Seltzer-Maria/ Mea/Salomea – A-26.427.

The day of my visit was 21.07.2004.

I had to pay for a parking ticket in Auschwitz.

It was on this trip,on my first day in Krakow,as I come into the Hotel Copernicus,I noticed an English-Polish magazine called Krakout.
Within hours we were sharing a drink with the publisher and I got my assignment.

Zyg and Mea are the embodiment of my family,vis a vis the History of Poland and its Jews,with the images influenced by my mother’s memories and actually seeing the streets where she walked.At the Wawel castle,where she was brought as a janitorial slave, and where my mother saw Hans Frank, I saw a small painting.

Zyg was created, after this painting of Zygmunt,which caught my eye and Mea,of course was my mother.

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