Meeting with Magdalena Grzebałkowska author of 1945. War and Peace.
The event is connected to the After the Holocaust. The Central Committee of Polish Jews (1944–1950) exhibition.
Our House Once
When the tempest of war died down. When the sun of freedom and independence shone. Only then this the reality become clear in all its terror. The children were the unluckiest and the unhappiest. Jewish children, all alone, who did not know what to do with themselves, where to go. Then the news started circulating that there is a place one might go to and that it’s not far. That it is the Children’s Home (Dom Dziecka) for Jewish children, a beautiful, white dream house. But when we arrived an extraordinary sight met us. Children, instead of wearing dresses and suits, wore blankets or someone might have a blouse but no pants, because everyone had to receive something and the orphanage hadn’t yet received clothing for the children. The house wasn’t yet properly furnished. We slept on broken beds, which would fall apart during the night, and you’d wake up on the floor. Straw was spilling onto the floor from the mattresses and the rooms were constantly filthy. There were also no linens. We slept on ripped bed sheets or on nothing at all. When I lay alone, quarantined, I could not stop crying, remembering our house, family, clean bedding and the warm atmosphere of our beloved home. Every morning for breakfast we got black bread with a candle, that is horrible lard which solidified and looked like wax. Lunch consisted of powdered soup and some kind of second course. Life went on, unbearably sad, full of memories of our experiences. But something else happened. Thanks to the efforts of the management and the staff, life at the home became better.
Hanka Federman and Halina Furmańska
From the news bulletin of the orphanage in Otwock