My Jewish parents, my Polish parents
As I parted with my real mother, I completely forgot about her. She vanished completely from my memory
I was born in 1938 in Radomsko. My name was Renata, diminutively Renia. My father, Izydor Praminger, managed a law firm over there. We constituted a happy family — I had parents, a nanny and a brother 8 years older, Bronuś. After the eruption of the war, we moved to Brody, where my grandparents lived. In 1942 we found ourselves in the ghetto. My parents could not accustom themselves to the terrible situation. My nanny, who worked with my parents for 18 years and had good relations with them became a providential person. She supplied food and clothes, saving us from hunger and cold. Conditions were getting tougher, typhoid reigned, deportations to the Bełżec camp were commencing. My parents decided to give me under the care of my nanny. She took me out of the ghetto holding me by the hand. One day mother and my brother found themselves in a transport to a death camp. Mother told her son to run when they were going in a column through town. He hid in a gate and during the night he came to nanny’s flat. Soon father joined us. Nanny found a hiding place in a stack of straw, every month she paid the farmer another instalment for father’s and Bronuś’s lives. They died in the beginning of 1944 — they were given over to the Germans or murdered by the farmer who was hiding them.
I was born in 1938 in Radomsko. My name was Renata, diminutively Renia.
Mother arranged documents certifyng that I am her daughter. She gave me her name and baptised me — I received the forenames Irena Stanisława. I was a child, I did not realise that we were running a considerable danger and that mother had a weight to carry. She had to hide from her own siblings, who declined to hide our family and threatened to give us away to the Germans. After my father’s and brother’s death mother was close to madness — she felt guilty for not being able to save them. After liberation my mother, who was an Ukrainian, decided to leave for Poland. After a two month trip we found ourselves in Opole. We moved into an attic without water or canalisation, but we were happy to be alive and together. I was a joyful child — mother’s love made up for my tragic experiences. Sometimes our peace was disrupted by strangers who wanted to take me away in exchange for a considerable amount of money. Now I know that they were coming from Israel. Mother had no profession, she had only finished three classes of an Ukrainian school, she barely read and wrote in Polish. In order to maintain us she worked hard in a cement plant as a bricklayer’s helper. In spite of poverty she made me finish studies. I helped her as I could: I gave tuition lessons, went as a teacher to summer children camps. Mother was proud of me and loved me like her own child. Because of me she never married. I was her true family, and she was my family, too. When I came to know of my true origins and my parents tragic death, our relations did not change, I still felt her child. That feeling has remained forever.
Irena Szczurek
She graduated from the Mathematics Faculty at the Wrocław University. She worked as a teacher in the Electronic Energy School in Łódź. She belongs to the association of the Association of “Children of the Holocaust” in Poland. She has two children and three grandchildren.
She was an unusual person — strong, with a tough character and exceptionally sensitive. Righteous Among the Nations
Emilia Präminger
née Celler
(zm. 1942)
I was left with no souvenir of her. I do not remember her face. This grieves me to this day.
(zm. 1944)
He was a very righteous and honest man, which is evidenced by the letters he wrote to us from his hiding place. That how he was remembered by my adoptive mother.