The Association of "Children of the Holocaust" in Poland

Looking for ourselves

       Not all who learn about the Association become its members without hesitation. The decision to "come into the open" is not always easy to take. There are, surely, those who have no idea where they come from and probably will never find out that they could become members of our organisation.

       Hanna Krall wrote in her book "Proofs of existence": "The Polish parents of Jewish children are dying in the normal course of events. They found the children more than 50 years ago - lying at a track along which a train travelled, at a roadside where Jews were driven, at the wall of a ghetto or in bushes. They sometimes got them from persons who promised they would return but never did.

       Polish parents carried a child to Church and gave it a Christian name. They brought it up like one of their own and kept silent about its past. Now they are dying. They must all have been around the same age for the time of death arrived simultaneously for many.

       When their last moment was upon them they wished to tell how it all came about, spoke faintly about indistinct matters, passing away in mid-sentence. Some left an overdue, rambling letter or tattered handwritten notes. Fifty-year old Jewish children come to the Jewish Historic Institute with such tattered notes and quotes of rambling words.

       A poem by Irit Amiel appeared in the Israeli press in 1994, after a visit paid to Israel by a group of several dozen persons from our Association:

"Born by a miracle for a second time
Carried from Hell in suitcases, bags, coffins, barrels, boxes.
Removed by wheelbarrows, carts, between corpses.
Thrown from fast moving trains, trucks, windows of burning houses.
Left on paths, tracks, on thresholds of houses, huts, churches, cloisters.
Crawling from sewers, dugouts, byres, barns, gaps in holes, ditches.
Homeless, hopeless, sinless, strengthless, ownerless, voiceless, nameless.
Returning to their people after half a century:
Does anyone know who I am?"

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