49 – Herbst’s car



There are also some surprising pictures in the collection of Fira’s photographs. They present Fira in a company of her friend and ex-admirer, Julek Herbst, her mother and another friend, Eli Rotenberg. They all stand in a pine forest, in the spring morning of April 30, 1939, in front of a very modern auto. It is Tatra T97, a luxury car, by which Julek drove Fira from Biala near Bielsk back to Poznan. Julek Herbst took her together with her mum and English teacher for a car trip to Puszczykowo, a summer resort located between the Warta river and a large forest area. They stopped at a restaurant. They might have sat inside or walked along the river. Unfortunately, we can’t see that in the photos. What we see is mainly Fira with her inseparable Dianka, posing by the car, inside the car or even on the car.

Eli Rotenberg is in these photos by accident. He wasn’t a close friend of Fira, though they knew each other, as almost all Jews of Poznan. He taught her English before her leaving for Palestine. He happened to be at the Melamedzons’ when Julek Herbst came. There are many documents filled by Rottenberg in the Archives of AMU. We present here fragments of two of them.