W. I. Juretzko
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This page was established 11-15-2000

Postcard

 

Postcard from Rydultowy / Rydultau
May 1999

. . . . . . . . . . the green, green grass of home . . . . . . . . . .

I was born in Upper Silesia 1932 and had to leave 1945. I still love my homeland. Von Eichendorf wrote:
"Oberschlesien mein geliebtes Heimatland - wo vom Annaberg man schaut ins weite land ..."
Greetings to all my countrymen ... Glück auf!

Werner I. Juretzko - Chicago - USA
werijur@comcast.net

 

As I entered the city limits, the old oak tree no longer stood however, the fresh smell of grass was in the air, just as the song has it. The aroma of flowers captured my senses, as I was greeted by my cousin Margaret, her daughter and Dorota another cousin in a field of red and yellow Azaleas.

For a century the old house, withstanding the changes of time, weathered, dilapidated however, still conveying character takes me back to my childhood. Peering out of the two windows were my siblings and I was born still stands the cross that was erected in 1908.

In the other part of town, in Bunschowietz, hidden by huge trees still stands the house my great grandfather Johann build in 1840, the same year my grandfather Johann was born. It has now passed down generations to my cousin Friedrich Nawraths widow, my aunt Maria’s son.

Not too many things have changed, the old schoolhouse extensively modernized,the church, the train station and the coal mine are still recognizable. Thanks the heavens that the most dreadful place associated with my hometown, the barracks of the Auschwitz, sub-camp Charlottengrube near the post office are replaced with flats. A historical marker indicates it’s past. During the war, prisoners working at the coal mine were housed there. After the war, renamed “New Berlin” , it held German’s to be transported to other camps or slatted for “ethnic cleansing”. ( Not indicated on the monument are the 9 million German victims of ethnic cleansing by Poland in 1945 thru 1948, the largest ever in mankind recorded history.)

The plaque in polish - the place Auschwitz' sub-camp Rydultau Charlotte Grube:
IN THIS AREA IN 1942-1945 WERE AUSCHWITZ' SUB-CAMPS. IT'S PRISONERS WORKED OVER THEIR ABILITY AND WERE MURDERED AT THE WALL OF DEATH.
TO ALL THE HEROES WHO LOST THEIR LIVES FOR THEIR FATHERLAND IN 30 ANNIVERSARY OF VICTORY OVER FASCISM FROM ALL MINERS OF RYDULTOWY'S MINE AND PEOPLE OF RYDULTOWY.
WE SALUTE THEM FOREVER
MAY 9TH 1975

Rydultau /Rydultowy, the village I left as a boy has now grown into a town. Upon entering the town’s limits, one is greeted by the sign that displays with great pride, the city sister partnership with the towns of Orlova and Hvidovre.

As I prepare to bid farewell to my place of birth and approach my journey back across the ocean, my last stop is City Hall. I have the great honor of being greeted by Chief of Staff, Dr. Krystyna Froncek. The anticipated fife-Minute visit extended itself into a two-hour plus dialogue. As we parted ways, Dr. Froncek presented me with an autographed copy of “The Chronicle of Rydultowy“.

While sitting high in the sky in a Boeing 747, above the Atlantic Ocean, somewhere between the Old and the New World, admiring Gods creation, I put the final touches to my postcard. With the next couple of deep breaths, my senses are stimulated, and yes, the green, green grass of home is still with me.

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