This is a picture of my mother, Aurelia Lifsches, nee Rosenbaum, born in 1876 in Chrzanow. The photo was taken in Cracow in 1900.
My mother completed an elementary school in Chrzanow. She was quite religious, she wore a wig but she didn’t keep kosher. She had progressive views. Before the war, it was like that: in the matchmaker’s presence, every woman wore a wig. It was a kind of rule. Whether she was religious or not. And what that woman really thought about religious laws was a separate matter. My mother generally didn’t go to the synagogue, but she lit the candles on Friday, made the chulent.
My parents' marriage wasn't unarranged. All Jewish marriages were arranged then. They got married around 1900, I think, because my eldest brother was born in 1905. We were five at home, four brothers and a sister. With our mother we spoke virtually only Polish at home, and with our father it was basically the same.
There was also my mother's sister who lived in Chrzanow. Her last name was Klajn, I don't remember her first name. Her husband was a money lender; they had a son. His name was Berek Klajn and during the occupation he was in Auschwitz, after which he found himself in Israel where he had two children and where he died. His wife, Maryska Klajn, was born in Przemysl and is alive, she lives in Ramat Gan. We keep in touch. She was virtually the only relative we had in Chrzanow. My mother had no other siblings, I think, and I don't know whether my father had any brothers or sisters at all.
When the war began, my mother didn't want to go with us to Lwow, she went to her sister in Chrzanow instead. And there she died, and my sister Hanka also went to Chrzanow during the Lwow period, to be with our mother, and they both died in Kety, near Chrzanow, in a kind of ghetto sub-camp. I lost touch with my mother and sister when I was still in Lwow.