Lubieniecki, Abraham Andrzej
Zakroczym (Poland), Nasielsk, Miendzyzece, Lichocielce
Lubieniecki was one of seven children born to Itzhak and Yenta Lubieniecki in Zakroczym, Poland. His father was a pastry baker. When he was quite young, the family moved to Nasielsk, a village near Warsaw, with a mixed population, about 50 percent Jewish, 50 percent Christian. There and later in Warsaw, Lubieniecki attended public school and subsequently was trained in drama and stage direction, a field that he had entered at an early age, taking part in Yiddish theater. He states that although it was constantly present, he personally did not experience a great deal of anti-Semitism.
At the outbreak of war with Germany, Lubieniecki was mobilized into the Polish army and sent to a fortress at Modlin for the defense of Warsaw. There he was captured by German forces and given the job of transporting horses to Germany. He escaped and headed back to Warsaw and Nasielsk. He was arrested again by the Germans and this time forced to work at a railroad station unloading coal. One day he noticed a train packed with Jewish people from Nasielsk so he snuck onto that train. It led to a ghetto in Miendzyzece, also known as Mezhirichi.
Anticipating what might happen to the Jews in the ghetto, Lubieniecki decided to escape to the part of Poland occupied by Russian forces and to take his girlfriend with him. The girl’s parents insisted that they first be married, so under difficult circumstances a Jewish wedding ceremony took place in the ghetto.
In Soviet-occupied Poland, Lubieniecki eventually arrived in Bialystock and from there went to a small village, Lichocielce, where he and his wife were taken in by a Christian farmer; he worked on that farm for about six months. In anticipation of the German invasion of Russia, Lubieniecki and his wife fled once again deeper into Russia. After the German invasion, he was mobilized into the Russian army and participated in various battles against the Germans, for which he was decorated.
After two and a half years of service in the Russian army, he received a discharge. Attempts to re-induct him into the army to fight against the Japanese were dropped since by that time Lubieniecki and his wife had two daughters and a son. He returned to Warsaw and became active in the cultural re-emergence of the Jewish community, particularly the theater. He participated in the search for and discovery of the hidden documents that describe Jewish life in the Warsaw ghetto and the details of the Warsaw uprising. These documents, known as the “Dr. Ringelblum Archives,” are the basis of much of the knowledge of what happened in Warsaw and the source of many books on that subject and, as such, are of invaluable importance
In 1957 Lubieniecki emigrated to Israel and resumed his acting career in the Yiddish theater, performing with some of its most famous actors. Following the emigration of his daughters to the United States and Canada, Lubieniecki also emigrated and now lives in Canada.
After the war, it appeared that all members of his very extensive family had perished during the Holocaust. Later, however, he found a younger brother, Szymon, still alive and living in Israel. Thirty-five years later, by sheer accident, he found and was reunited with another brother, Herschel, who had emigrated to the United States and was living in Chicago. Everyone else in his family and almost all of his wife’s family died during the Holocaust.
A number of photos, documents, and military medals were displayed during the interview to verify Lubieniecki’s account of events. At the end of the interview his daughters as well as his grandson offer some comments on the Holocaust.
Date: May 28, 2000
Length: 1 hour 40 minutes
Interviewer: Hans R. Weinmann
Format: Video recording