am Institut für Germanistik der Justus-Liebig-Universität Gießen

The Memoirs of Lucie Bialer

Titelseite der polnischen Ausgabe
Titelseite der polnischen Ausgabe

German version of “Dla Ciebie Nelly”

The aim of this project is to publish a German edition of the memoirs of Lucie Bialer (born Cytryn), a Polish Holocaust survivor. The original edition was published in 1998 (the second edition in 2009) bearing the Polish title “Dla Ciebie Nelly”. The English edition, titled “For You, Nelly”, followed in 2000.

Lucie Bialer was born in Lodz in 1923.  In February 1940, she, along with her parents and younger brother, Abram Cytryn, was forced to move into the Lodz/Litzmannstadt Ghetto, where e her father, Jakub Cytryn, died at the age of 42. On August 28th in 1944, the other family members were deported to Auschwitz-Birkenau, where Abram and his mother Genia were killed in the gas chambers. Lucie Bialer survived the concentration camps Auschwitz and Stutthof as well as a death march. In the spring of 1945, Bialer returned to Lodz and a little over a year later, she immigrated to Israel together with her husband Zygmunt Bialer (1909-1995) and their daughter Nelly (1948-1988).  At the desire of her husband, the family moved to Paris in 1953. Lucie Bialer died there in 2011.

In her book, Bialer tells her personal memories of the years 1938 to 1988. The starting point of her writing was not the Holocaust itself, but the tragic death of her daughter Nelly, who lost the battle against a brain tumor at the age of 40. Right from the beginning, Lucie and Zygmunt Bialer explained to their daughter why, in contrast to other children, she did not have any grandparents or aunts. After Nelly had been informed about the Holocaust and the sacrifices her parents had to make, the relationship between Nelly and her parents took a remarkable change, which resulted in a reversal of roles. The daughter became a guardian, whereas the biological mother became the child. In order to prevent further pain and suffering of her parents, Nelly concealed her disease. Only in the last days before her death, did the parents learn the truth.

Literatur:

  • Lucie Cytryn Bialer: Dla Ciebie Nelly. Olsztyn 1998, 2009².
  • Lucie Cytryn Bialer: For You, Nelly. Łódź 2000.


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