Start of David Krakow Poland private tour European Legacy Tours

Tour with a family from the USA in search of their Jewish traces in Poland

Our clients’ personal data or any details of the documents scanned and mailed to us will be regarded as strictly confidential. Even though all the names in our blog have been changed the stories are true.

Jewish Radom

This time there were four people, a mother with a daughter and two sons. I rented a big car and we drove to Radom. Their ancestors, my client’s father, and his sister, came from the vicinity of Radom.

My guest’s dad survived the German occupation thanks to help of his Polish neighbors. After our visit in Radom on our way to another location something happened that completely changed the mode of our trip. My client took out a file of various documents written in Polish including private letters. They were very old and never translated before, so nobody from my client’s family knew what they contained. Judy asked me to read and translate them. In one of these letters I found an address of one of Judy’s relatives living in Radom before the war. We immediately decided to return to Radom. We found the tenant house where their family used to live, and we lingered there for a while looking at the building. It was a very moving moment. Unfortunately, no one was in the apartment once occupied by my client’s family. However, the very fact of returning and finding this building was very emotional for my clients. Then I translated some more letters, written by Judy’s father after he left for the United States. In one of the letters he addressed his ex-fiancée whom he had to leave behind. I translated her response where she asked him to send her clothes as in 1960s it was a difficult commodity to get, let alone for somebody without sufficient financial means. She was going to leave Poland for Israel for good.  Political pressure of the communist regime drove many Jews to leave Poland in 1968. Jews were scapegoated and blamed for the economic crisis in Poland. Government provided them with passports, and one-way tickets to Israel, Sweden, and other countries from behind the iron curtain.

My guests were moved to tears, having been able to nearly hear their father’s and grandfather’s words. After the WWII, my guest’s father sold his house for a very low price to the Polish family, thanks to whom he and his sisters survived the Holocaust, being hidden on their farm.

Next we headed to Jedlnia, a small town also mentioned in one of the letters. I arranged a meeting with the town’s mayor, who received us very graciously, gifted us with lots of souvenirs expressing his joy of having the visitors from the US.

The tour was a great success!  My guests could at least symbolically pay their respect to their late relatives and touch the land on which they lived. I have been in touch with my guests until now.

If I had been presented with those letters/documents ahead of time I would have been able to make initial research and made this tour even more successful.

If are headed to Poland in search of your family roots make sure you avail yourself of all potentially useful information about the lives of your ancestors that you may find collected in the family archives, such as letters, jotted down notes, documents etc., be they in Polish, Russian, Yiddish or German.

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