The Trammer Family

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Story of Rescue - The Trammer Family

Fryda Trammer and her daughter, Augusta were living on Kraków’s Officers housing estate. During the II World War their building was occupied by the Germans, and the women were forced to move to the settlement of Łagiewniki, close to the house of the Feldhorns, their pre-war acquaintances. In 1943, the Feldhorns were denounced, either for holding secret classes or for being Jewish. Five-year-old Maria Feldhorn managed to escape to the Trammers’. She stayed with them until the fall of 1944. Her parents were shot the day after their capture.

“Maria didn’t know. We always told her that her parents were in Auschwitz. It was a terrible shock for a child. She only learned the truth after the war.”

When Maria came to the Trammers, they were already hiding Olga Mandel, the daughter of Fryda’s doctor before the war. Olga’s mother asked the Trammers to look after the girl while they prepared a safe place for the family in Warsaw.

“Since the girls referred to me by my first name and to my mum as ‘aunt’, everyone thought they were family. They didn’t have to hide in the basement or closet, they simply lived with us. I was working for the AK, and this gave me the opportunity to get IDs for them.”

Mrs Mandel brought her daughter in the summer of 1943, but a year later the house became too dangerous.

“My mum became afraid. From time to time there were a lot of people from the Home Army who stayed the night, and [ neighbours – ed.] became too interested. Not because of the girls, but because of the Home Army.”

In the autumn of 1944, Maria moved to an orphanage in Czersk. After the liberation she was adopted by the Trammer family. She is living in Warsaw and working as an architect.

Olga Mandel and her parents left for Israel. She is a professor of eastern languages at the University of Jerusalem. Both women maintain frequent contacts with Augusta.

Bibliography

  • Kurek Agata, Interview with Augusta Szemelowska, 24.04.2009
  • Gutman Israel red. nacz., Księga Sprawiedliwych wśród Narodów Świata, Ratujący Żydów podczas Holocaustu, Kraków 2009