Message for Mother. Tuwim’s unknown letter from the war period in the collections of the JHI

For Tuwim, the Holocaust had a truly tragic and extremely personal dimension. Among 6 million Jews who were murdered was poet’s beloved mother, Adela.

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Adela Tuwim  /  za https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=243931075758001&set=a.239130432904732.1073741835.127948057356304&type=3&theater

For Tuwim, the Holocaust had a truly tragic and extremely personal dimension. Among 6 million Jews who were murdered was poet’s beloved mother, Adela Tuwim, born Krukowska. She died on 19th August, 1942 during the liquidation action of the Otwock Ghetto. She was buried next to her house, where she had been shot dead. After returning to Poland, Tuwim exhumed her body and buried it in a family grave in a Jewish cemetery in Łódź.

The Archive of the Jewish Historical Institute contains, unpublished before, Tuwim’s letter to his mother. He wrote it on 4th January, 1942 in New York. He did not send many of such letters to her. He had to do it conspiratorially, using help of third parties. Every time, he asked them not to reveal his surname as it was too well-known and could be a direct threat.

„I remember only mother, constantly striving for our education, health, clothing, entertainment”

Julian Tuwim’s mother, Adela Krukowska (born 9th January, 1872 in Mariampol, died 1942) was a daughter of Israel Lejb Krukowski (1840–1906), owner of a printing house, and Ewelina Łapowska (1840–1906). She came from an educated family; she had four brothers and two sisters (Bernard, Henryk, Izydor, Stanisław, Bluma, Anna). In 1893 she married Izydor Tuwim. After the death of her husband in 1935, Adela Tuwim moved to Warsaw. She died in 1942 in Otwock.

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