Submitted by Francoise Teitelbaum: By the end of the war, my parents and I had lost 47 members of our family. A close knit family with a history of social justice, of caring, of involvement in the life of others. Most of them lived in Krakow, in Podgorze. My great grandfather was a delegate to the Council of Vienna, created a soup kitchen where he regularly took my Father to help in serving. I was born in Paris, in 1929 and my memories of my grandparents, uncles, aunts and cousins stopped in 1939. We survived the war in hiding, returned to Paris in 1945 and moved to the US in 1952.
I don’t remember how I became aware of properties we owned in Poland. Two properties, one in the center of Krakow and the other in Podgorze. The only survivor, my aunt, one of 5 sisters of my Father, came back to Krakow after being deported to Siberia, and tried to find information on her family. She went to the house in Krakow where her sister, who owned the house, lived and rang the bell. The polish woman would not let her in and she knew that this woman had appropriated for herself the furniture, jewelry, silver, etc.
My aunt also found out that her brother had been shot dead in the street, her sister deported and my grandmother taken to the Podgorze ghetto. Details about the rest of our family where not available.
At some point, over twenty years ago I started a futile search in the hope of recovering the two properties that were in our family. I will skip over the lawyers, non lawyers, plus my two trips to Krakow to respond to the demand of the court to be deposed. I found out that the Supreme Court of Poland had rendered a judgment asking the town of Krakow to give me the properties and the town of Krakow refused.
I have not given up but I know that this is a totally lost cause.