Memoria [EN] No 42 (03/2021) - Page 11

Chana Grynberg, in turn, even if she had been mistreated by Józefa, a Polish woman who had given her shelter, after many years applied for the her being awarded with the title of the Righteous among the Nations. The stories of Survivors’ lives consist of many contrasting episodes – from the examples of the Poles who would rescue the children of their Jewish friends with devotion and sympathy, to those who used to hide the Jews motivated only by material profits and after WW2 would even claim to be rewarded for this.

Michlic collects these and other stories, from which emerges the nearly unknown fate of Jewish children trying to survive on their own in the non-Jewish environment “where it was hard to distinguish friends from enemies”. She emphasized, quoting Laurence Langer, that “conventional historians deceived the victims by privileging the perpetrators, as the Nazi regime used to produce official archive documents. According to this position it can be stated that the youngest Victims and Survivors were deceived to the greatest extent by being refused not only their causative skills, but also a proper position as subjects of historical research”.

 (…) in June 1945 Mina Halberstadt-Kapłan considered Lena to be a shrewd and sharp-witted kid, but difficult and restless, full of anger and behaving in an arrogant way. But she assumed that Lena, originating from Lublin just as herself, had experienced in her young life so much hardship and pain and she needs rehabilitation of both her body and soul. (…) She made her responsible for a younger child in the group and appointed supervisor of hygiene among her mates. Halberstadt-Kapłan noticed that within the period of three months, Lena underwent visible emotional and psychological transformation. From a boisterous and quarrelsome girl she transformed into a kind, sympathetic and caring child, willing to start school in September 1945.