I was there.
Janina avoided deportation to Treblinka during the Great Aktion, and eventually, she ran away from the ghetto with her mother only in 1944, was hiding in Warsaw and in the surrounding towns. Many times she had to change the hiding place as a victims of blackmailers. In autumn 1944, during the Warsaw Uprising, Janina ill with tuberculosis, was hiding in a basement in a city center.
After the uprising, along with other Warsaw inhabitants, Janina was forced to leave the city in cattle trains. She hid in a village near Cracow, with her mother, sister, and Auntie Mania – their Polish housekeeper who helped the family during the war.
Janina Bauman (1926-2009), Poland
Janina describes a family friend – Staś Chmielewski.
1) Listen to Janina’s the story about Staś Chmielewski and his unselfish help. Answer the questions.
1a. Why did Staś risk his life to save Janina’s family? What feelings led him to make this choice?
1b. What is your interpretation of Janina’s words: "I did not understand this story at all. I understood it only later."
Simple, Honest People
Janina and her sister are hiding in a farm in Zielonki near Krakow.
2) Listen to Janina as she talks about being received by the inhabitants of the village near Krakow. Answer the questions.
2a. Where, after the Warsaw Uprising, did Janina’s family go?
2b. How do you understand the statement "our appearance was so obvious" and "Mrs Pietrzykowa pretended not knowing anything"?
2c. Why were Janina and Zosia so nervous before Christmas?