Henryka Wanda Lazowert. (1909 – !942)

“..when I tackle a book I do not part with it until I am finished ..reading at meals ..in bed. ..book is with me at all times ..I do not take a single step away from it ..and such close companionship is possible only where a book does not repulse by its physical appearance ..as many library books do. I do prefer to read a book untouched by ..hands of others ..to cut ..pages ..rejoice in ..peculiar fragrance of ..printers ink.” Henryka Lazowertowna.

Henryka Lazowert (Lazowertowna) was born in Warsaw, Poland on June 19th. 1909 to Bluma, a School Teacher and Maksymilian Lazowert. After her Father’s Death, prior to Hitler’s invading armies breached Polish sovereignty, this left Henryka and Bluma to get along as they had always done. Henryka as the Jewish Poet, who wrote in the Polish language, is noteworthy.

As such, Henryka as a Poet and Essayist is detailed into the Onyeg Shabbes archive, and as a constituent part of Emmanuel Ringelblum’s effort. As Henryka’s work estimates as a matter of social concern and is of course of worth to all of History. As such, Henryka was greatly involved in both the efforts of the Centos Central Organisation for the Care of Orphans, a Jewish Charitable Organization. Also, while caring for the Orphaned and Homeless Jews of the Ghetto, the role was fulfilling a direct aim of the Onyeg Shabbes.

The heightening rage of Polish antisemitism during the early stages of 1930’s Poland, affixed itself to the many Pogroms that abounded in Polish Society. This consequently, prompted Academics, Artists and many Writer’s just like Henryka, who up to this point were of no particular Political persuasion, to politically include themselves into a more Politically and Socially Concerning leaning.

For Henryka, what might otherwise have remained dormant, in her drive for poetic need and excellence, became a newer focus on her writing. With the use of her burgeoning concern, so as to pen words for the common good of all humanity to stand by, Henryka has bequeathed to us a legacy evidences of the clearest eloquence and resonance. This political awakening was also connected, in itself, to Henryka identifying more and more as a Jew than she had previously considered necessary.

Hatred, for whatever reason and manifestation will ensure the joining together of those Peoples being sought out for a differing decency in treatment. It is important here, as we move closer to the fate Henryka faced as a Jew is to Remember that she immediately volunteerd to the transport which would resettle her and her Mother Bluma all the way from the Umschalgplatz, Warsaw to the Death Camp at Treblinka. It is in accordance with a hate filled resolve that they were both Murdered at sometime during the period of their arrival in August 1942 at Treblinka.

That Jewish Poland lost both Bluma and Henryka to the intentioned systematic Slaughter reserved for all of European Jewry, still does not exclude other’s from the killing managed by the Nazi’s. All of this, as part of Hitler’s Final Solution of The Jewish Question, is a murderous resolve for 6,000,000 Jews of Europe, who are The Holocaust. That this is a period which is growing in ferocity and intensity, and though Hitler could realise that some 2,000,000 Jews or 3,000,000 Jews had already perished, Hitler still sees his ultimate demand as unfinished.

In this particular space, and given its perspective as a major Killing Centre, Treblinka, this extermination facility finally murdered close on 1,000,000 Jews. Even though this is a figure that is often disputed, it is a contentious one, and as such, is none the less an unverifiable certainty. With all of this to consider, the best placed People to narrate our way through the vagaries and destruction of The Holocaust are always those it was visited upon. Also, and it is usually those who then managed to escape from its grasp who afford us the examples of such terror, the horror of which rmains inexplicable and uncomprehensible.

But, and it always the Jewish People, such as those who have delivered in words what we learn was a brutal crushing of voices. Henryka Wanda Lazowertowna was one of those stilled voices and with her most famous poem, written in the Warsaw Ghetto, Henryka has been witnessed as the unflinching tribute to the more than 1,500,000 Jewish Children Slaughtered by the Nazi’s is recalled. These words, now etched onto the Memorial to the Child Victims of The Holocaust, this then becomes Henryka’s epitaph as it is the:

The Little Smuggler (Maly szmugler)

Over the walls, through holes, through the guard posts,

Through the wire, through the rubble, through the fence, Hungry, cheeky, stubborn,

I slip through,

I nip through like a cat.

At midday, in the night, at dawn,

In snowstorms, foul weather, and heat,

A hundred times I risk my life,

I stick out my childish neck.

A rough sack under my arm,

Wearing torn rags on my back,

With nimble young legs

And in my heart constant fear.

But you have to bear it all,

And you have to put up with it all,

So that tomorrow you Will have your fill of bread.

Over the walls, though holes, through bricks,

At night, at dawn, and in day,

Cheeky, hungry, crafty,

I move as quietly as a shadow.

And if the hand of fate unexpectedly

Catches up with me one day in this game,

It is an ordinary trap of life.

Mother, don’t wait for me anymore.

I will not be coming back to you again,

The voice will not be heard from afar;

The dust of the streets will bury

The fate of the lost child.

And I have only one request,

And the grimace is set on the lips:

Who, Mother, will bring you Your bread tomorrow?” Henryka Lazowertowna.