45 – Nolek Altman and his affection in the shadow of the „Polenaktion”(Pole campaign)



When, at the end of October 1938, the Nazis  unexpectedly expelled about 17 thousand Jews having Polish citizenship from Germany, in the course of so called „Polenaktion”, Fira Melamedzon, just like all Poznan Jews, helped the deportees. Most of them came by trains to the Zbaszyn railway station, and some went further, to Poznan. Nolek Altman, coming from Torun and living in Gniezno, came to Melamedzons’ house then as he was appointed by a Jewish community to help the deportees. Together with Fira, he had been transporting for a few days the lost and speaking no Polish people from the station to the closed Jewish Hospital at Waly Wazow Street (today Wieniawskiego Street 17/19, where PAN building is located), which was to be their temporary shelter.

After these couple of days of common working, Altman fell in love with Fira. He studied in Warsaw, but he had a sister in Poznan, whom he started to visit very often then. He met Fira, wrote letters to her, gave her his photographs. The girl first strolled with him around Poznan but then she broke this relationship. Some photographs of two of them walking around Poznan streets and parks, and the Altman’s pictures taken in Torun remained in Fira’s albums. The latter are presented in this section.