Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Maurice Chandler - October 3, 1993

Locating Old Friend

And we just left it like that. And the way we met now--I don't know if I told you. I sent one of my men that works for me to Poland, you know, went to visit and I sent him--I told him to go to this and this village, look up so and so, and ask for Stashek Ruzinski and tell him Zdzislaw sends regards. And he went there and he found his brother--his older brother and he told his older brother, you know, who sent the regards. He said, "Oh, Zdzislaw of course," he says, "I remember." He says, "This guy was the greatest, this and that, where is he?" He says, "I'm sure by now he's a prime minister in Poland someplace." So, the guy says, "No, he's my boss." He says, "Your boss? Where?" He says, "In America." He says, "What is he doing in America?" He says, "Well, he's my boss and he's got a plant and he's this and that," and he says, and he says, "Why isn't he in Poland?" He says, "He's Jewish." He stops. He says, "Wait a minute," he said, "that's not the same Zdzislaw that I remember." He said, "These are two different people. You're talking about somebody," he said, "Jewish? Why would he be Jewish?" He said, like he say "He's the greatest Polack that ever lived. You know, a real genuine patriot, Catholic and everything." He says, "I'm sorry to tell you," he says, "he's Jewish." He says, "Are you sure?" "Yes." He says, "Well, he wants to see my brother. My brother is in Warsaw now. He's an engineer and he gave him the address." So then when I saw Stashek, we never talked about it. We just, you know, he hugged me and kissed me and talked to him on the phone, he says "Zdzislaw, remember," he says, "you'll always have a home." He says, "Consider me, me your relatives." He says, "My wife and I and my kids..." he's got a couple daughters, he says, "I'm your home, I'm your relative. We're not gonna talk about anything else." And two years earlier I sent that same sheygets to Warsaw also to that village to the lady that I worked for, Helena Jagodzinska. He got in there and he told her and she said, "Just wait a minute." She went into the bedroom and brought out a little picture that I left there--that picture that I left her that day when I left. She says, "Is this little boy--the one that he survived the war?" And he told her, "Yes." She says, "Give this to him," and uh, the year after we were getting set to go and visit her and Chernobyl happened and my wife was afraid the government--because they said Poland is dangerous, you know, it was the waves and all this. In the meantime, she passed away right after that.

You haven't seen Stashek since? Or talk to him again about it?

No, I talked to him about three months ago. I sent parcels. I sent this and that.

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