42 – The Gerners and coal trading

(the 1930s)


We don’t know much about the Gerners. They came from the city which, like Poznan, was just changing its nationality and official name. Former Hungarian Sathmar was transforming into Romanian Satu Mare. They arrived in Poznan after the world war I and lived at Wielkie Garbary 9 (between Wielka Street and Wszystkich Swietych Street). They were trading in coal and, according to Fira, they were neither poor nor rich. Lolek, as they called Ludwik Gerner was their only child. He was born about 1922 in Poznan. Fira met him, when he was a schoolmate of Jerzyk Dymant, her “cousin-brother”. After Jerzyk had left, Lolek kept coming to Wroniecka 12. Fira liked him and helped him with learning.

There are photos of the Gerners’ summer place in Puszczykowo in the albums of Fira Melamedzon-Salanska. Lolek is around 10 or 12 in them. Also, there are some pictures taken in Romania, when the boy was about 15 or16. They had been probably taken by Lolek. Most people in these photos are unknown. We don’t even know whether they are Polish or Jewish.