17 – The birth of Jerzyk



Jerzyk Dymant was a cousin of Fira Melamedzon. She treated him as a younger brother. She was by his birth and she played and took care of him when he was a little boy.

Since the summer of 1934 Jerzyk had spent almost a year in a Melamedzons’ flat in Poznan. He went to a Jewish state school there. Then he had to come back to his mom under rather dramatic circumstances. Fira tells Jerzyk’s story in her book. We complement it here with a few photographs coming from later years, and Fira’s memory of his birthday.



Jerzyk was the oldest son of aunt Pola from Leczyca and uncle Natan, the younger brother of Mummy. He was born in 1923 when I was eight. The aunt and uncle lived in the last room of the Dymant grandparents’flat. When aunt Pola was giving birth to Jerzyk, I just  came to my Grandma. “Firus, a stork is bringing a baby. Come on, I will show you,” aunt Lili said when she saw me. Lili , not married at that time, later named Lew after her husband, was a younger sister of Mummy. We liked each other very much. There was a midwife in a room. Uncle Natan and all the others waited by the door. “Stand next to a stove, and I will open the little door. As soon as I open it , a stork will bring a baby, you’ll see,” Lili said. “It will throw it through a chimney. You’d better stand here and catch the baby so that it doesn’t fall onto the floor and get hurt.” I knew it wasn’t true but I was ashamed to say that I knew where babies came from. I heard aunt Pola shouting in pain. Then uncle Natan learnt he had a son, and he was allowed to enter the room.

I loved Jerzyk very much, maybe because I was by his birth. Later, I often came to my grandparents to play with him, although he was a little boy. He was four when we moved to Poznan, and six when his father suddenly died. Three years after Jerzyk’s birthday, his younger brother Kuba was born, but I had never been so close with him. Aunt Pola didn’t manage to keep the business that she run after her husband. In 1934 she left with her younger son to her parents in Leczyca. Then, my Mummy suddenly brought Jerzyk to Poznan. It was a result of a family meeting in Brzeziny, where they decided that we were going to bring up Jerzyk. I was delighted with such a decision.