Short excerpt from the dialogue with my uncle Izy (in 2000), the last survivor of my family from Kalisz who was then living in Israel.
Léon : The city of Kalisz ; was it a city ? How many… ? it was a town of …
Izy : A big city ! a beautiful city !
Leon : A large population of Jews ?
Izy : Important, sure, it was a town of … what is it, a town of … economic …
Leon : Industry ?
Izy : Industry
Leon : Was it a rich city ?
Izy : Yeah, the city was rich, yeah. An industrial city with a lot of factories, there were a lot of factories in there, but also, there were poor people too, not everyone was rich ! There were rich people too, there were poor people too. And it was a very nice city, very good. There was everything.
Leon : And the Jews lived well there ?
Izy : Yes ! they lived well, they lived well but then, at the end, at the end of 1937, anti-Semitism started, they hanged in every store, ‘don’t buy from the Jews’, that’s the Polish ! because Poland was already sold to Hitler, because there was a foreign minister who was a Hitlerist, so they made the stores ‘don’t buy from …’ it was a town … afterwards, it had become a Hitlerite town, anti-Semitism, very harsh.
It was in the year 2000, 20 years ago already, that I began my investigation into what became The Shlomo Affair.
What was my father real name?
How had he met the disturbing Maria? For this improbable meeting to take place, it took a lot of chances, a little luck and a good dose of suffering, of love and humanity.
She, Romanian, and Him, Polish, caught in a double wandering in the middle of the great historical upheaval of the Second War which tragically reshuffles the cards and the borders. This story is that of Maria and Schloïmé, my parents and somewhat mine.
Paris, May 14, 2020 (he would have been 109 years old)
If you want to read my book, I have a few copies left, let me know if you are interested ; I will be happy to send it to you.