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During our visit to Český Těšín, we visited Krystyna Mikuš, who is the daughter of Monika Damm. Mrs. Krystyna gave us the story of her family. Her mother, Monika Damm, was helping a woman of Jewish origin who was imprisoned in the Myszków ghetto.

They were united by a truly deep intimacy. The Bermann family, the Jews, treated Monika as a family member, and the Polish woman felt at home with them. Before she got married, she worked for them for years as an accountant at the mill and helped them to take care of her daughter Ruth. A Pole from Kończyc Wielki taught a girl, German language.

The Jews, people who were familiar with the community and widely respected, had full confidence in Monika. The young Pole did not lack professional competence or skills in caring for children – she took care of her orphaned siblings, and perhaps above all – sensitivity to other people.

After 1934 the relationship between the two of them was loosened – Monika got married, moved to Cieszyn and gave birth to a son.

It came on September 1, 1939. The Germans attacked Poland and its citizens. Monika started thinking intensively about her friends from Skoczów. „I have to go to them. – …she decided… She took the necessary documents with her and set off on a journey. However, in the Bermann villa she only found Ernest’s mother Rosa Bermann. The rest of the family – sensing the danger – left Poland. The next day, about 80-year-old Mrs. Bermann was no longer at home. A lot of time passed before Monika came across Rosa’s trail: the ghetto in Myszków. „Surely she needs food and medicine there”. – thought the Polish woman. Regardless of the risk, until 1942 Mrs. Damm sent the old lady a parcel with all the necessary things. Later the contact was lost.

What happened to Rosa Bermann is unknown. Where her son, his wife and daughter Ruth, had gone for many years, remained a mystery. Before the end of her life, after years of fruitless efforts, Monika Damm finally managed to realize her dream, which she had in her heart: in Israel she found „her little Ruth”. Monika Damm died on April 24, 2000.

Ghetto in Myszków


Instytut Pamięć i Tożsamość im. Jana Pawła II

Public task co-financed by the Polish Ministry of Foreign Affairs as part of the Public Diplomacy 2017 contest in the ’Cooperation in public diplomacy 2017’ category.

This publication expresses its author’s views which cannot be equated with the official stance of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Poland.”

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