David P. Boder Interviews Boleslaw Czolopicki; July 30, 1946; Paris, France

var transcription = { interview: [ David Boder

[In English] Paris, July 30th. July 30th, 1946. I am interviewing now a gentleman, a Polish refugee, Mr. Bolesław Czolopicki.

David Boder

[In Russian] Холост, сорока трех лет.

David Boder

[In English] Alright, er, you understand English?

Boleslaw Czolopicki

Yes. I understand a little.

David Boder

Now, I will ask you in English, if you would please answer in Polish. understand? You can answer in Polish, because we want to have it in the language you can best speak. You understand? Er . . . Where were you born, Mr. Czolopicki?

Boleslaw Czolopicki

In Poland?

David Boder

Yes.

Boleslaw Czolopicki

I must speak. In Poland?

David Boder

No, no, you speak Polish. Where were you born?

Boleslaw Czolopicki

[In Polish] Urodziłem się w Warszawie.

David Boder

[In Russian] В Варшаве. Есть у Вас жена, дети?

Boleslaw Czolopicki

[In Polish] Nie. Nie.

David Boder

[In Russian] Вы понимаете меня по-русски?

Boleslaw Czolopicki

[In Polish] Rozumiem.

David Boder

[In Russian] Я буду говорить по-русски. Вы будете отвечать по-польски. Когда Вы уехали из России? Из Польши?

Boleslaw Czolopicki

[In Polish] Było to po powstaniu w Warszawie w roku czterdziestym-czwartym

David Boder

[In Russian] О, в тридцать четвертом году? Куда Вы поехали?

Boleslaw Czolopicki

[In Polish] Byłem deportowany przez NiemcÃw.

David Boder

[In Russian] В тридцать четвертом?

Boleslaw Czolopicki

[In Polish] Nie w czterdziestym-trzecim. W czterdzieści-czwartym.

David Boder

[In Russian] А, в сорок четвертом Вы выбрались из Варшавы? Почему Вы уехали из Варшавы?

Boleslaw Czolopicki

[In Polish] No, Niemcy wszystkich deportowali z Warszawy.

David Boder

[In Russian] И куда Вас депортировали,

Boleslaw Czolopicki

[In Polish] Deportowali do Nadrenii.

David Boder

[In Russian] Хорошо. Теперь Вы мне расскажите по-польски все, что с Вами было с того момента, как немцы взяли Варшаву, и до того дня, как Вас освободили в Париже. Идитеâговорите. .И не сокращайте, во всех деталях.

Boleslaw Czolopicki

[In Polish] Z chwilą kiedy piatego pażdrziernika czterdziestego-czwartego roku Niemcy całą ludność Warszawy . . . er . . . deportowali . . . do Niemiec. Jest dla mnie troche trudno . . .

David Boder

Po Polsku powiedzić?

Boleslaw Czolopicki

Nie. Tylko wogÃle taką forme ująć . .

David Boder

[In Russian] Говорите как хотите. Говорите, как Вы будете говорить с кем-нибудь другим. Вы сейчас разговариваете. Это все.

Boleslaw Czolopicki

[In Polish] . . . Więc . . . odesłano nas, znaczy dano nam możność . . . er . . . spakowania rzeczy swoich, tyle tylko to co no siębie można było . . . er . . . pieszą przejść do Ursusa,znaczy miejsca pare kilometrÃw odalonego od Warszawy. Tam nas trzymano koło dwÃch dni I następnie w pociągach towarowych . . . er . . . z eskortą oczywiście . . . Niemiecką. Wieziono nas przez blisko pieć dni i nocy w gląb Niemiec do Nadrenii.

David Boder

[In English] And then?

Boleslaw Czolopicki

[In Polish] . . .Oczywiście ludzie byłi mięszani- znaczy kobiety, dzieci, męszczyzni, wszyscy rażem. Warunki były okropne dlatego ze wogÃle, powięcmy, w wagonach towarowych nie było . . . odpowiednych wygÃd . . . czasami przystawali źeby moźna było zrobic toalete. Oczywiście wszystko to pod straża, wspÃlnie rażem męszczyzni i kobietami, bo inaczej nie moźna było. . . No, wyźywienie Oczywiście było też bardzo kiepskie, raż jesc na dzien. . . Kiedy znależmyśmy się juz na [Wanne?] kolo Bochum wtedy przyjechaliśmy akurat na moment kiedy Bochum było bombardowane przez . . . AnglikÃw. Nalotu tego był wynik taki ze pięć wagonÃw zostało spalonych, kilka osob też spalonych, zabitych. . . . .Reszta nas została odwieziona do obÃzu, do obÃzu rozdzielczego . . . pod Wessen. Tam trzymano nas też w warunkach Oczywiście bardzo primitywnych, [niezrozumiały] w podłodze, scisku, jeden na drugim, nie mial swoje posłanie. Trzymano nas . . . zdajesię mieśiąc czy dwa mieśiąca. Potem rodzielano Oczywiście do rÃźnych fabryk albo też na liscie do pracy na wsi. Ja dostałem się do. . . pod Geldern-Kapellen gdzie . . . byłem zatrudniony przy obÃzie ktory był âznajdowlisię deportowani, I przy pracy, przy kopaniu okopu . . .Tam spędziłem. . . pozostałem, czas aż do . . . .uwolnienia przez Amerykan. 3 marca . . .1945 zostałismy uwolnieni przez Amerikan . . . No i wowczas deportacja Niemiecka się skonczyla. Czy mam jeszcze mowic dalsze . . . ?

David Boder

[In Russian] Tak, tak. Так, так.

Boleslaw Czolopicki

[In Polish] . . . Nastepnie z Amerykanami . . . napisalem się do Amerikan tam do pracy i z Amerykanami przyjechalem do Francji. Jakis czas pracowalem we Francji z Amerikanami. Nastepnie zwolnilem się , przyjechalem do Paryza gdzie rozpoczelem dalsze studia w szkole desen.

David Boder

[In Russian] Скажите мне вот что. Вы все время работали в концентрационном лагере?

Boleslaw Czolopicki

[In Polish] Nie to nie był właściwie konzentracyjny obÃz tylko obÃz deportowanych doâwłaściwie do pracy.

David Boder

[In Russian] Ага! Вы работали, а как они вас кормили?

Boleslaw Czolopicki

[In Polish] Wyźywienie było oczywiście . . . brukiew, było [szumy tła; niezrozumiały] wyźywienie.

David Boder

[In Russian] Ага! Кто были вашими начальникамиâнемцы или они имели поляков? Nie. Więc Niemcy. Ci ze słuźby w tych źÃłtych mundurach. To było Ichânie pamietam jak to się nażywaloâpartynicy z Volkspartii Niemieckiej.

David Boder

[In Russian] Ага, ага.

Boleslaw Czolopicki

[In Polish] W źÃłtych mundurach z takimi opaskami.

David Boder

[In Russian] Ага, ага, СС свастика.

Boleslaw Czolopicki

[In Polish] Zdajesię ze to było [szumy tła; niezrozumiały]. . . co jeszcze potrwa.

David Boder

[In Russian] А где Вас американцы освободили? В каком городе?

Boleslaw Czolopicki

[In Polish] [niezrozumiały] Moers.

David Boder

[In Russian] в Мерс . . . над Рейн?

Boleslaw Czolopicki

Tak.

David Boder

Ага. Вы чтоâсобираетесь вернуться в Польшу?

Boleslaw Czolopicki

[In Polish] Narażie mialem zamiar konczyc tutaj studia [inaudible] Co jeszcze potrwa.

David Boder

[In Russian] А что Вы учитесь теперь?

Boleslaw Czolopicki

[In Polish] Teraż ucze się wlasnie radia.

David Boder

[In Russian] Радио. Вы платите что-нибудь в этой школе?

Boleslaw Czolopicki

[In Polish] Do tej pory w tamtej szkole place.

David Boder

[In Russian] Вы платите?

Boleslaw Czolopicki

[In Polish] Ale tutaj mam byc oplacany. W tej szkole . . .

David Boder

[In Russian] А Вы учитесь тут днем? Вы работаете в Париже?

Boleslaw Czolopicki

[In Polish] Nie. Znaczy do tej pory pracowalem , teraż ponieważ zapisalem się na ten kurs więc przestalem pracowac. No it tutaj ma byc ten kurs platny.

David Boder

[In Russian] Ага, а где Вы живете в Париже?

Boleslaw Czolopicki

[In Polish] Ja na Le Bonoir [?]

David Boder

[In Russian] Частным образом? Много там поляков вместе живете?

Boleslaw Czolopicki

[In Polish] Nie, ja mieszkam w hotelu.

David Boder

[In Russian] Есть у Вас родственники в Америке? Есть ли у Вас родные в Америке?

Boleslaw Czolopicki

[In Polish] Nie. Nie posiadam zadnych krewnych w Ameryce.

David Boder

[In Russian] Нет родственников в Америке. А что Вы собираетесь: остаться во Франции или что Вы собираетесь делать?

Boleslaw Czolopicki

[In Polish] Ja chcialbym najchetnie emigrowac.

David Boder

[In Russian] Куда?

Boleslaw Czolopicki

[In Polish] Powięcmy wlasznie do Ameryki.

David Boder

[In Russian] В Америку?

Boleslaw Czolopicki

[In Polish] Jezeli by była mozliwosc.

David Boder

[In Russian] А скажите, когда Вы были в Варшаве, до сорок четвертого года, Вы были там, когда был этот погром в гетто?

Boleslaw Czolopicki

[In Polish] Owszem. Byłem. Caly czas byłem aż do czterdziestego-czwartego roku. Byłem w Warszawie przez caly okres wojny. Oczywiście też musialem się przed Niemcami stale ukrywac.

David Boder

[In Russian] Ага.

Boleslaw Czolopicki

[In Polish] Nawet . . . pod cudzym nażwiskiem. W czasię tego Pogromu . . . w Warszawie byłem I . . . ciagle walke getta Oczywiście z daleka obserwowalem I widzialem.

David Boder

[In Russian] А . . . Вы думаете, что Вам удастся поехать в Америкуâбез рожственников? Хотели бы Вы поехать в South, в Южную Америку?

Boleslaw Czolopicki

[In Polish] Brażilia.

David Boder

[In Russian] Бразилия. Вы говорите по-французски хорошо?

Boleslaw Czolopicki

[In Polish] Troszke. Znaczy rozumiem.

David Boder

[In Russian] Ага

Boleslaw Czolopicki

[In Polish] Moge czytac. . .

David Boder

[In Russian] Можете читать?

Boleslaw Czolopicki

[In Polish] pisze dosc dobrze,

David Boder

[In Russian] Ага.

Boleslaw Czolopicki

[In Polish] tylko rozmowa, jesli chodzi o rozmawianie jeszcze pewne trudnosci mi to sprawia . . . [szumy tła]. bardzo szybko.

David Boder

[In Russian] Спасибо, господин Хлопицки. Это было очень интересноâто, что Вы мне рассказали. Я хочу один маленький эксперимент . . . У меня тут имеются кое-какие картины. Что Вы думаете, что эта картина представляет?

Boleslaw Czolopicki

[In Polish] Jest to fotografia kobiety. [szumy tła]

David Boder

[In Russian] Говорите громко. Да, и что это представляет собой?

Boleslaw Czolopicki

[In Polish] . . . chlopca, zamyslonego, siędzacego na [szumy tła; niezrozumiały]

David Boder

[In Russian] Хорошо. Что эта картина собой представляет?

Boleslaw Czolopicki

[In Polish] [pauza] A to przedstawia . . . osobe chora, umarla, czy zmarla, a nad nia stoi . . .

David Boder

[In Russian] Ага. А что тут происходит?

Boleslaw Czolopicki

[In Polish] Wyglada tak jak przed jakims nalotem uciekaly kobiety.

David Boder

[In Russian] Ага. А эта?

Boleslaw Czolopicki

[In Polish] [szumy tła] To praca na wsi. Z jednej strony . . . praca przy ogrodce ziemi, mycie oraż [szumy tła; niezrozumiały] . . . z drugiej strony jakis ten goral nauczy z ksiaszka w reku. Kobieta . . . [niezrozumiały]

David Boder

[In English] Alright . . .

var english_translation = { interview: [ David Boder

[In English] Paris, July 30th. July 30th, 1946. I am interviewing now a gentleman, a Polish refugee, Mr. Boleslaw Czolopicki.

David Boder

[In Russian] No family, forty-three years old.

David Boder

[In English] Alright, er, you understand English?

Boleslaw Czolopicki

Yes. I understand a little.

David Boder

[In English] Now, I will ask you in English, and you please answer in Polish. Understand? You can answer in Polish, because we want to have it in the language you can best speak. You understand? Where were you born, Mr. Czolopicki?

Boleslaw Czolopicki

In Poland?

David Boder

Yes.

Boleslaw Czolopicki

I must speak . . . in Poland?

David Boder

No, no, you speak Polish. Where were you born?

Boleslaw Czolopicki

[In Polish] I was born in Warsaw.

David Boder

[In Russian] In Warsaw? Do you have a wife, children?

Boleslaw Czolopicki

[In Polish] No. No.

David Boder

[In Russian] Do you understand my Russian?

Boleslaw Czolopicki

[In Polish] I understand.

David Boder

[In Russian] I will speak in Russian, and you will answer in Polish. When did you leave Russia? Poland?

Boleslaw Czolopicki

[In Polish] It was after the Warsaw Uprising in '44.

David Boder

[In Russian] Oh, in '43. And where did you go?

Boleslaw Czolopicki

[In Polish] I was deported by the Germans.

David Boder

[In Russian] In '43?

Boleslaw Czolopicki

[In Polish] Not in '43. In '44.

David Boder

[In Russian] Oh, you left Warsaw in '44? Why did you leave Warsaw?

Boleslaw Czolopicki

[In Polish] Well, the Germans were deporting everybody out of Warsaw.

David Boder

[In Russian] And where did they deport you?

Boleslaw Czolopicki

[In Polish] They deported us to the Rhineland.

David Boder

[In Russian] Well . . . Now I want you to tell me everything that happened to you from the moment when the Nazis had taken Warsaw to the moment when you had been liberated in Paris. Tell me . . . And don't skip anything, tell me all the details.

Boleslaw Czolopicki

[In Polish] The moment that on the 5th of October 1944 the Germans deported . . . the entire population of Warsaw . . . er . . . to Germany. It's a bit hard for me . . .

David Boder

To speak in Polish?

Boleslaw Czolopicki

No. Just what form to take . . .

David Boder

[In Russian] Speak freely. Speak as if you were chatting with somebody else. That's all.

Boleslaw Czolopicki

[In Polish] So . . . we were sent, I mean we were given the opportunity . . . to pack our things, just what we could put on ourselves . . . to walk on foot to Ursus, a place a few kilometers out of Warsaw. There, we were kept for about two days, and then in freight trains . . . er . . . under German . . . escort. They transported us for almost five days and nights into the heart of Germany, to the Rhineland.

David Boder

[In English] And then?

Boleslaw Czolopicki

[In Polish] . . . Of course the people were very mixedâmeaning women, children, men, everybody together. The conditions were dreadful because, for example, in the freight cars there were no . . . suitable facilities . . . they sometimes stopped so that one could go to the toilet. All of this, of course, under supervision by the guards, men and women together, nothing else was possible . . . And the food was also very poor, we ate just once a day . . . When we found ourselves in [Wanne?] near Bochum we arrived at the precise moment that Bochum was being bombarded by . . . the English. The result of this air-strike was that five of our wagons were burned, several people burned too, killed . . . The rest of us were transported to a camp, to a distributing camp . . . near Essen. There, of course, we were also kept under very primitive conditions. [Unintelligible] in the floor, crowded conditions, one person on top of another, no bedding. There we were kept . . . a month, or two months, I think. Then, we were taken to various factories, or else placed on a list for farm work. I found myself . . . in Geldern-Kapellen . . . I was employed at a camp which . . . deportees worked there, digging trenches . . . There, I spent . . . remained, until . . . liberation by the Americans. March 3, 1945 we were liberated by the Americans . . . So at that time German deportations ceased. Am I to go on to talk of further . . .

David Boder

[In Russian] Yes, yes.

Boleslaw Czolopicki

[In Polish] . . . Then with the Americans . . . I signed up to work for the Americans and came to France with the Americans. For a while, I worked with Americans in France. Then I resigned, came to Paris where I began further studies at the school of design.

David Boder

[In Russian] Tell me the following. Did you work [or] did they keep you in "concentration camps"? Konzentrationslager?

Boleslaw Czolopicki

[In Polish] No, it wasn't really a concentration camp, but a camp for those deported specifically to work.

David Boder

[In Russian] Aha, you were working. How was the food?

Boleslaw Czolopicki

[In Polish] The food was, of course . . . rutabaga, it was [background noise; unintelligible]. Food.

David Boder

[In Russian] Aha, and who were your supervisors: Germans or Poles?

Boleslaw Czolopicki

[In Polish] No. Germans, of course. Those who served in those yellow uniforms. It was theirâI can't remember what it was calledâmembers of the German People's Party.

David Boder

[In Russian] Aha, aha.

Boleslaw Czolopicki

[In Polish] In yellow uniforms with those armbands

David Boder

[In Russian] Aha, aha, SS swastikas.

Boleslaw Czolopicki

[In Polish] It probably was [background noise; unintelligible] . . . which will go on for a while.

David Boder

[In Russian] And where did the Americans liberate you? In which town?

Boleslaw Czolopicki

[In Polish] [Inaudible] Moers.

David Boder

[In Russian] Moers . . . over the Rhine?

Boleslaw Czolopicki

Yes.

David Boder

Aha. Do you plan to return to Poland?

Boleslaw Czolopicki

[In Polish] At present I plan to finish my studies here [inaudible]. Which will still take a while.

David Boder

[In Russian] And what are you studying now?

Boleslaw Czolopicki

[In Polish] At the moment I'm learning the radio.

David Boder

[In Russian] The radio. Are you paying to study at this school?

Boleslaw Czolopicki

[In Polish] Up to now, I'm paying at that school.

David Boder

[In Russian] You're paying?

Boleslaw Czolopicki

[In Polish] But here, I'm to be paid for. In this school . . .

David Boder

[In Russian] And your school, is it a day school? Do you have some job in Paris?

Boleslaw Czolopicki

[In Polish] No. I mean, so far, I worked, but now, because I signed up for that course, I've stopped working. And here that course will be paid for.

David Boder

[In Russian] Aha, and where in Paris do you live?

Boleslaw Czolopicki

[In Polish] At Le Bonoir [?]

David Boder

[In Russian] Do you pay for your lodgings, or is it communal living for many Poles?

Boleslaw Czolopicki

[In Polish] No, I live in a hotel.

David Boder

[In Russian] Have you any relatives in America? Any members of your family in the U.S.?

Boleslaw Czolopicki

[In Polish] No. I have no relatives in America.

David Boder

[In Russian] You have no relatives in America. And what do you plan to do: will you stay in France, or something else?

Boleslaw Czolopicki

[In Polish] I would most like to emigrate.

David Boder

[In Russian] Where to?

Boleslaw Czolopicki

[In Polish] Let's say precisely to America.

David Boder

[In Russian] To America?

Boleslaw Czolopicki

[In Polish] If it were possible.

David Boder

[In Russian] Tell me something. When you lived in Warsaw up to '44, were you there during the destruction of the Jewish ghetto?

Boleslaw Czolopicki

[In Polish] Yes. I was. I was there the whole time up to '44. I was in Warsaw during the entire period of the war. Of course, I also had to keep hiding from the Germans.

David Boder

[In Russian] Aha.

Boleslaw Czolopicki

[In Polish] Even . . . under an assumed name. At the time of that Pogrom . . . I was in Warsaw. And . . . I kept observing and seeing, of course, the battle of the ghetto.

David Boder

[In Russian] And you think that having no relatives in America, it would be possible for you to travel there? Would you like to go to South America?

Boleslaw Czolopicki

[In Polish] Brazil.

David Boder

[In Russian] Brazil. Do you speak French well?

Boleslaw Czolopicki

[In Polish] A bit. I understand it, I mean.

David Boder

[In Russian] Aha.

Boleslaw Czolopicki

[In Polish] I can read it . . .

David Boder

[In Russian] You can read it?

Boleslaw Czolopicki

[In Polish] I write it quite well . . .

David Boder

[In Russian] Aha.

Boleslaw Czolopicki

[In Polish] It's just that speaking . . . when it comes to speaking it still presents certain problems . . . [background noise; unintelligible] . . . very quickly

David Boder

[In Russian] Thank you, Mr. Czolopicki. I was very interesting to talk to you. I would like to propose one small experiment . . . I have some pictures. What do you think this picture represents?

Boleslaw Czolopicki

[In Polish] It's a photograph of a woman [background noise; unintelligible]

David Boder

[In Russian] Speak up. Well, and what does it represent?

Boleslaw Czolopicki

[In Polish] . . . a boy, lost in thought, sitting on [unintelligible]

David Boder

[In Russian] Good. What does this picture represent?

Boleslaw Czolopicki

[In Polish] . . . [long pause] And this represents . . . a sick person, dead, or dying, and above her stands . . .

David Boder

[In Russian] Aha, and what is happening in this picture?

Boleslaw Czolopicki

[In Polish] It looks as though women are running away from some air raid.

David Boder

[In Russian] Aha, and this one?

Boleslaw Czolopicki

[In Polish] [background noise] It's farm work. On one side . . . work on a piece of land, cleaning or [background noise; unintelligible] . . . on the other side some mountaineer with a book in his hand is teaching. A woman [unintelligible].

David Boder

[In English] Alright.