"Kawaler"/"The Bachelor"

Ms. Zina Buszko, living in the central part of the Stoczek street, tells a story of a young bachelor who survived and returned after the war. She doesn't remember his name or his surname. Perhaps she is thinking about Izrael Malecki, although she describes him as a young bachelor who kept company with a group of young people, and Malecki was 35 when he returned and as he stated himself, he was already married in 1941. The common element for these two characters is the trip to Bielsk after the war, and the only Jew from Bielsk to get registered in the Central Commitee of Polish Jews was Izrael Malecki, which might prove that she is speaking about him.

Zina Buszko tells the story: "After the war one of the Jews returned, Herszko, or maybe he had a different name, I don't remember he was a bachelor. He came back to Białowieża. He was walking together with our youth, they were friends. When someone died, he went to the chapel together with us, and when they cried, he cried, but he also cried after his people, that everybody died, that no one survived, that there's no one left in Białowieża, that all of the Jews were beaten up [killed]. Maybe he was in the army? Or maybe he was hiding out somewhere? Either way he came back here after the war, and lived here for long. And he was flirting with all of these girls, but none of them wanted to marry a Jew. He was here at least two years. And then he moved to Bielsk Podlaski. In Bielsk, he found himself a Jewish woman who had survived too. And he got married, and settled there. And when someone from Białowieża was going to Bielsk, they were going to him, like to a hotel. He was welcoming everybody, and everybody treated him like a cousin."


  1. The Berman’s family website: http://www.genealogy.com/ftm/f/e/l/Lisa-Feller/WEBSITE-0001/UHP-0072.html
  2. The "Still Here" project: http://stillherebook.com/david-waldshan/
  3. Letters of David Waldshan to Katarzyna Winiarska from May-June 2016;
  4. Symcha Burnstein’s testimony, Zez. 301/1970 ŻIH Archive, 28th of October 1946, Białystok;
  5. Zofia Skotnicka’s testimony, Michał Romaniuk’s testimony, Lucjan Berg’s testimony (all Hajnówka inhabitants); IPN Archive Bi 1/1946;
  6. Włodzimierz Dackiewicz, interview by Katarzyna Winiarska, 9th of June 2015
  7. Włodzimierz Dackiewicz, interview by Katarzyna Winiarska 2th of July 2015;
  8. Włodzimierz Dackiewicz, interview by the Holocaust Museum in Washington, 11.10.1998, RG-50.488*0051
  9. Żydzi polscy w KL Auschwitz: wykazy imienne [Polish Jews in KL Auschwitz: name list], ed. S. Mączka, M.Prokopowicz, (Żydowski Instytut Historyczny, 2004.);
  10. Piotr Bajko, Białowieża zarys dziejów, (Białowieża 2001);
  11. Aleksander Krawczuk’s testimony, IPN Archive, DS 296/68;
  12. Zinaida Buszko, interview by Katarzyna Winiarska, 24th of March 2016;
  13. The Feldbaum Family Chronicles, http://www.feldbaumfamily.net/Home.ae
  14. Moishe Kantorowicz, My mother's bequest: from Shershev to Auschwitz to Newfoundland, 2004, 173-174;
  15. Nina Szpakowicz, interview by Katarzyna Winiarska, 15th of June 2016;
  16. ŻIH Archive, The Registry of Jewish Survivors, CKŻP WEiS sign. 514;