Roman Litman

Interlocutor name:
Interlocutor surname:
Interlocutor alias:
Krzysztof Bielawski
Grzegorz Liwiński
Catalogue number:
Recording date:
9th September 2012
Recording location:
Recording duration:
Recording language:
Recording copyright:
Museum of the History of Polish Jews POLIN
Jews in Poland

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Interlocutor biogram

Roman Litman (Szloma Litman) was born in 1933 in Łęczna at Bożniczna Street, in a traditional multi-generational Jewish family (parents Chaja Estera Litman, Szymon Litman). Both his grandfather and father were shoemakers.

As World War II broke out, Roman Litman’s family fled to the Soviet occupied zone. They settled down in Ukraine, from where they were moved to Siberia (the Novosibirsk Oblast). After the Sikorski-Mayski Agreement was signed in 1941, Litman’s family went to Kazakhstan. It is there, in a small school organised by the Association of Polish Patriots (Towarzystwo Patriotów Polskich), that Roman Litman learned Polish. In 1945, Litman’s family travelled to Lvov, where they enrolled on the repatriation list for Poland and settled down in Lublin.

Roman Litman was a chairman of the Lublin Branch of Jewish Community in Warsaw. He passed away on May 7, 2021.

Recording summary

  1. Łęczna – the interviewee’s place of birth; description of the interviewee’s multi-generational family; participation in religious rituals; description of individual family members, 0:07:00
  2. Cheder in Łęczna – the interviewee’s memories; learning, 0:03:55
  3. Description of interwar Łęczna in terms of nationalities, 0:04:59
  4. The story of what happened to the interviewee’s family at the beginning of World War II: help of German holidaymakers during air raids on Łęczna in 1939; departing to the Soviet occupied zone, 0:07:11
  5. Time in the USSR: Time in Ukraine; displacement of Polish citizens from the Ukraine to taiga; mutiny of Polish exiles and their transportation to the Altai Mountains, near the Mongolian border, 0:09:30
  6. Jobs of the exiles in the Altai Mountains (Novosibirsk Oblas); the interviewee’s father working for a local shoemaker, 0:11:00
  7. Certificate on restoration of Polish citizenship and permission to leave the place of exile; departure to Kazakhstan, 0:12:20
  8. Stay in Kazakhstan; learning the shoemaking craft; learning written language in the Sunday School organised by the Association of Polish Patriots (Towarzystwo Patriotów Polskich), 0:13:00
  9. Permission to go to Lvov in 1945 – condition: to sew boots for Soviet officers, 0:15:00
  10. Staying in Lvov and enrolling on the repatriation list for Poland, 0:16:30
  11. Journey to and arrival in Poland; first encounter: “What have you come here for? You won’t survive here...”, 0:17:00
  12. Perec’s house in Lublin; the atmosphere surrounding the returning Jews, 0:18:00
  13. Life in Lublin: the Jewish school in Lublin at Wyszyńskiego Street (currently Niecała Street); the fate of the interviewee’s brother, 0:19:00
  14. The reasons for closing the Jewish school in Lublin in 1949: wave of emigration of Jews from Poland after the war, 0:21:30
  15. The first visit in Łęczna after repatriation in 1948, 0:22:00
  16. The reasons and circumstances of the interviewee changing his name from Szloma to Roman, 0:24:00
  17. Bridges, overpasses, and viaducts in Lublin designed by the interviewee, 0:27:30
  18. Jewish religious life in the late forties: the nature of the Jewish community/statistics; emigration after the Kielce massacre; Jewish organisations in Lublin; Lubartowska Street, 0:28:30
  19. The events of March 1968 in the interviewee's memories: reactions of his colleagues – congratulations on “victory over Arabs;” hiring of Henryk Cukerman, released from the army, and his son, 0:32:30
  20. The impact of the March 1968 events on the Jewish community in Poland, 0:35:30
  21. Contemporary Jewish life in Lublin: activity of the Social-Cultural Society of Jews (TSKŻ), creation of a branch of the Jewish Religious Community in 1998; development of the Jewish community in Lublin, 0:37:00
  22. The functioning of yeshiva in Lublin: educational activities for Lublin schools, 0:40:00
  23. Cooperation with the “Grodzka Gate – NN Theatre,” with the Poland-Israel Society (Towarzystwo Polska-Izrael), cooperation with the Catholic Church in Lublin – ecumenical prayers, 0:43:00
  24. Anti-Semitic incidents in Lublin, 0:45:13
  25. Description of Lublin‘s Jewish cemeteries, 0:45:30
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