My Jewish parents, my Polish parents
I knew that my parents are dead, otherwise they would have found me. A mother would have followed her child even to hell
I can only guess who were my biological parents from scraps of accidentally over heard conversations. I think I was the child of a partner of my Polish father, who was co-owner of a tannery in Warsaw. When my Jewish parents moved into the ghetto, my father tried to save them. He first took me. He then came back for them, but there was nobody there any more.
My mother always repeated: — A mother is not the one who gave birth, but the one who brought up the child
She was an educated woman — she graduated, before the war, from the Faculty of Historical and Social Sciences, but believed that she would best find her fulfilment in the role of a mother. I never asked her about my biological parents. I knew that reminding her that she did not give birth to me would hurt her severely. My looks were absolutely unlike those of my parents, they both were blond while I was a dark-eyed brunette. Mother tried to dispel my doubts explaining that I took after my grandmother. I was raised like a princess. I had no home chores — I did not clean, I did not make my bed, I did not cook — all that I had to do was to study. My parents did not spare money for my education — I attended a private school run by Felician Sisters. Care was taken that I learn foreign languages. Though English was taught at school, a tutor came home for additional lessons. Later we had a tenant with whom I only spoke in that language. Mother’s sister, who lived with us, additionally taught me Russian. Thanks to my parents I was able to obtain an additional job — I have worked as an excursion leader and guide. I am very grateful to them for that. My parents treated me as their own child, and I always felt myself to be their daughter. I had from them a feeling of safety, care and love. Knowing that they raised me properly was their reward. When I received my distinctions last year, I thought of them - I knew that they would have been proud. An adopted child can be loved as if though it were one’s own. I experienced this as a child and as a mother. I have an adopted son, who joined our family as a teenager. I love him as much as the two others.
Elżbieta Brzuska-Wojciechowska
She obtained a law degree at the Warsaw University, worked as a probation officer and as a guideand interpreter for excursions. She is founder of the Association of “Children of the Holocaust” in Poland. In 2014, she received the Pro Memoria medal and was decorated for Services to Warsaw. She has three sons and five grandsons.
Parents
Halina Brzuska
née Syska
(1907–1984)
During the occupation she gave clandestine lessons, after the war she worked as a registrar in a clinic. She was extremely fair and protective. She cared for all around her.
Stanisław
Brzuski
(1903–1966)
He was a chemical engineer. He was a wonderful father, he brought me sweets, every day, he cuddled me, I was a veritable daddy’s little girl.