23 – Strolls to Szelag



The period between late 1936 and early 1937 was the time of Fira’s closest friendship with four students of the Poznan University, especially with Adek Lewin, Adek Engel and Jozio Lustyk, who became her boyfriend. It can be easily noticed when you look at the photographs they took during their strolls around Poznan, parties or in student lodgings.

One of the places most often seen in these picture is a road along the Warta river towards Szelag. There was a sports field, a shooting range of Bractwo Kurkowe and a popular and fashionable restaurant there. Fira and her friends follow this route in November and December of 1936, and also in January, and then in March of 1937. Each time she is accompanied by different people. For the first time she walks with Mira Lederowna, then with Elen Kaspari, Fira’s friend living near Zbaszyn, finally with a family of Marek Lewkowicz, a shop assistant in the Melamedzons’ shop.

In these photos we can see Poznan that we do not know. There is a square in front of the Municipal Slaughtery (today Old Slaughtery) and the Czech’s redoubt, a fragment of Prussian city fortifications by the New Electric Power Station (today Garbary Electric Power and Heating Station). There are also port surroundings of a railway bridge by the Garbary Dam (today Garbary Street), and less dense urban development in Szelagowska Avenue (today it is a street, not an avenue).

Against this background we see young, joyful Poznan Jews, who do not differ from the Poles of that time. Their clothes, customs and behaviour are the same. They are smiling, playing, posing and having their photos taken, like this one with a found horseshoe that is believed to bring good luck (the photo in the book). Unfortunately, if it did bring good luck it was for no longer than two years.