Picture show by Aleksandra Kaniuka at the Resource Center
From spring to autumn 2023, we present in Resource Center artefacts from the POLIN Museum collection connected to the various stages in the history of the Warsaw ghetto and to the lives of people imprisoned in it—those who perished in the ghetto, those who were deported to Treblinka, and those who fled to hide on the so-called ‘Aryan’ side. The objects on display come from the collection of Aleksandra Kaniuka, née Rozengarten. They document the subsequent stages of her survival.
The first photo comes from the Warsaw ghetto: Aleksandra Rozengarten is standing on a fence, her mother Irena (née Hermelin) and grandfather Eliezer Rozengarten holding her hands. Aleksandra’s father, Samuel Stanisław Rozengarten (husband of Irena, son of Eliezer), survived the war in the East. The photo was taken not long before Irena and Aleksandra escaped. Eliezer died of typhus in the ghetto.
Having escaped from the ghetto, mother and daughter hid in various hideouts in Warsaw and in its outskirts. Irena Rozengarten had a fake ID issued in the name Bobińska. Aleksandra spent about two years (1942-1943) with a guardian in Radziwiłłów (as shown in the photos) while her mother strove to earn money for their living. In all likelihood, she engaged in smuggling. Later, since the guardian did not treat Aleksandra well, the girl was left in the care of nuns in Śródborów. Later, she hid with her mother in Warsaw. In the summer of 1944 they were staying in Miedzeszyn.
After the war, the family initially settled in Poznań—the last of the presented photos comes from that period. Having returned from the Soviet Union, Samuel joined his wife and daughter there.
Irena decided they should continue to use the name Bobiński. Samuel never made peace with this decision. For many years, Irena didn’t feel at home in any of the apartments they used to live in—she wouldn’t even bother to hang the curtains.