My Jewish parents, my Polish parents
The ghetto meant death. My parents gave me away in order to save me
On the 15th of May 1943 I was taken out of the Warsaw ghetto by a blue policeman. I have learned since that his name was probably Paweł Gołąbek. I had with me a sheet of paper with the name Anna on it and my date of birth (13th January 1942). A postscrpt on the sheet recommended me to God’s and good people’s care. My parents did not disclose my family name in order to protect me. My Polish parents respected their will and retained my name — Anna. Both my real and adoptive parents took care of me as best as they could.
My parents took me in order to raise me, not just for “safekeeping”. They wanted to give me the best of everything
I was taken care of by Stefania and Albin Dubinieccy. I was baptised as their daughter. Documents for me were prepared in Father Baudouin’s Orphanage. In case of need my parents could explain why all of a sudden they were in possession of a eight month baby. After the war my parents moved to Siemianowice Śląskie — there I spent the happiest part of my life. I had a loving family, my mother and father took care of me, even pampered me. Between 1947 and 1951 my parents sent me for some time to the orphanage in Tuszynek, and to other places. I missed them very much and simulated various illnesses in order to return home. Now I know that these trips related to searches for Jewish children saved by Polish families. Later we moved to Katowice and father started being ill. He died, when I was nine. Mother, wife of a pre-war officer, who had never before worked, now had to support us both. As a widow of a war disabled she obtained a newspaper stand franchise. After father’s death I started to receive anonymous letters. I learned from them that I am a Jewish child, a foundling, etc. Their authors believed that I should not be raised by a Polish family, but return “to my own”, meaning I should return to Israel. My mother denied everything, and maintained that I am her own child. I felt that she was not telling me the truth, but I did not want to annoy her. For a moment she even considered leaving Poland. At the end of the fifties mother started to have serious cardiac problems, she often went to hospital. We did not have any family to request help fom. She died in November 1958. I had 16 years then and was left all alone in the world.
Anna Szpanowska
She finished education and biology faculties at the Jagielloński University in Kraków. She worked as head of a laboratory in Puławy. She is a member and co-founder of the Association of “Children of the Holocaust” in Poland. She has a two children and four grandchildren.
Parents
Stefania Dubiniecka
née Matukańska
(1900–1958)
Mother came from the eastern borderlands. She attended a boarding ladies school in Warsaw. She was a wonderful wife and mother.
Albin
Dubiniecki
(1896–1952)
A lieutenant colonel of the Polish Army, participant of the 1920 war. He also participated in the September Campaign and was seriously wounded. During the occupation he was a soldier of Home Army. In 1944 he was incarnated into the Polish First Army.