My parents concealed from me that I am a foster daughter. They never learnt that
I learned their secret
My new parents at once moved with me to Łódź, and then to Skarżysko-Kamienna, where they had many friends. We lived there in
a small house at the outskirts of town, nearly till the end of the war. I spent most of the time with Mom, for father worked outside the city, and later was in hiding because of conspiratorial activities. Mother was a cheerful and merry person at that time, she played with me, read me books, sang songs. In spite of the war she did her best to create a happy home. I remember that for a couple of months my parents did not eat sugar, in order to buy me my dream teddy bear.
We welcomed the end of the war in Łódź, where the family of my Polish mother lived. There a meeting took place which inluenced my whole life. A distant relative appeared, Róża W., who reclaimed me in the name of my father’s, Stanisław Temerson’s sister, who lived in Brussels. My Otrębski parents loved me as their own child. They managed to persuade aunt Ruża not to separate me from them. In Łódź I had a real home, lots of aunts and uncles — even if they were not my real family. I was surrounded by my parents’ love and care. When I fell ill with putrid fever, my mother used to sit during all day by my bedside, she read to me and held me by the hand. Father used to take me for walks, took me on sled rides, personally built a doll house for me.
The war experiences resulted in my mother showing symptoms of manic-depressive psychosis. Perhaps for that reason my parents were very anxious about my health which they considered to be delicate, and my mental condition to be fragile. They did not want me to undergo a shock, and therefore did not tell me that I was not their own child. Their family and friends knew the truth, but they never gave the game away. My parents maintained contacts with my Jewish relatives since 1946 and they even encouraged me to write to them. And I, not suspecting anything, just imagined them to be another set of my parent’s good friends.
I learned the truth during my second visit to my aunt in Brussels. I was then 26 years old. I honoured my parent’s wish
— they never learned that I discovered their secret. They, as well as I, hid the truth — out of love.