8 – First time in the Tatra Mountains



In the summer of 1935, I went with Sara Auerbach and Jurek Rein for a few days to Zakopane. Sara was my friend from the Faculty School, and Jurek was a son of my Mom’s friend, Anna Reinowa. They were a couple. They both belonged to Hashomer Hatzair, which I had left two years earlier. It seems that Elen Kaspari living near Zbaszyn accompanied us too, as she can be seen in one of the pictures. There might have been someone else with us. I had met Elen one year before. She was sociable and cheerful. We liked each other.

My first trip to the Tatra Mountains, in a small group of people, was very fulfilling. We lived on the outskirts of Zakopane, in rented rooms and we walked in the mountains, guided by a highlander. I remember that once he got us through the mountain paths leading to a rock marking the place where a composer Mieczyslaw Karlowicz had been killed by an avalanche. It was in Hala Gasienicowa. We were standing on the edge of the precipice, maybe at the very place when Karlowicz was caught in a killing slide. During our last trip we reached Giewont, as I have the photo in which I am sitting on the metal cross construction at the top. In the summer, there were many dancing-spots and parties in Zakopane, but we didn’t take part in them. I was shy. Sara and Jurek obeyed the rules of Hashomer Hatzair, Zionist scouting, which allowed them to dance only a circle, doing the hora dance, for example. Nevertheless, we put on highlander costumes, we sunbathed and walked. I was twenty years old. I was young, strong and adult, having my whole life ahead of me.