Warszawa, Ząbkowska 12/78. Mazowieckie region
In spite of our researches and cooperation with the Jewish Historical Institute we didn’t find any information about an owner and residents of the building. Thanks to Virtual Shtetl we had a possibility to speak to Chaim Hochman, a man who lived at Ząbkowska 6, just 3 buildings further from Ząbkowska 12 (the place where the trace of mezuzah was found) before the War. The conversation with Chaim Hochman recalls a history and everyday life of Ząbkowska from before the World War II. Mr Hochman said, there had been a bakery in this building. He doesn’t remember the residents of Ząbkowska number 12.
– Please, tell about your childhood.
– I lived on Ząbkowska 6 with my grandmother until I was 18. I learned in Jewish school. My teacher was Ms. Ringelblum and Mr. Ringelblum¹ worked in YIVO. I was always dressed well and I spoke Polish fluently. Later on we lived on Sapieżyńska 19 in Warsaw.
– Were there many Jews living on Ząbkowska street?
– Many, but there was no antisemitism. In Warsaw² students screamed “Down with the Jews!”. Here, in Praga district, we didn’t have that.
– Did many Jews work at Różycki Market³?
– Yes, many. Also some christians sold vegetables there. I used to go there very often and buy pickled cucumbers from a barell. I asked for salty water from the barell. I liked it very much.
– What happened after the War?
During the War I was in the Red Army. When the War ended I came
back to Warsaw looking for my family. Later I escaped to Germany with my wife Elen Flumenbaum, a prisoner of Auschwitz concentration camp. She wanted to go to France, where a child of her sister lived. We went there and stayed.
The interview by Krzysztof Bielawski from “Virtual Shtetl”. Read full interview
¹Emanuel Ringelblum – historian who collected and hid all documents and letters in the Warsaw Ghetto. This collection is known as a Ringelblum Archive.
²Meaning the left side of Vistula river. Praga was a part of Warsaw at the right side of the river.
³Różycki Market – the biggest open air market on the left side of the Vistula river before the World War II. The Market was behind buildings Ząbkowska 6 and 12.