by Josef Piwniczni (Nitzani)
Translated by Translated by Gloria Berkenstat Freund
Menachem was born in 1901 as the oldest son of Balcze and Eliezer Krycer, the well known family in Dąbrowa. He had two sisters Hela and Lala and two brothers, Josek and Wowcze.
The Krycer family was well-liked by almost the entire Jewish population as being of the people, intelligent. Menachem's mother was particularly well known because of her profession she was a midwife. This was actually enough of a reason to be popular during the first ten years of our century, when the hospital system in Poland was very inadequately developed. In addition to this, there really was a fear of going to the hospital, particularly among the Jewish population, because of the cold atmosphere there. And the service in the hospital was a Christian one and often not friendly. And there was also the problem of kosher food. All of the births of children took place in the home with the help of the midwife (only in rare cases was a doctor called to help) and almost all Jewish children were born with the help of Menachem's mother.
Balcze the midwife did not see her work as just a profession in order to earn money, but also as an appointment, an assignment to give the Jewish woman help during the difficult hours of childbirth. With her attitude and her talk, she also provided a physically calming effect on the woman giving birth. She often made sure that there was a little soup and a piece of chicken in the house of the poor so that the woman giving birth could get on her feet quicker.
Menachem was raised in this atmosphere of common intelligence and love of people. Without a doubt this had an influence on the development of his character and later course of life.
Mietek became an intellectual in the full sense of the word as well as a man of
the people absorbed with Jewish culture. He felt it was his duty to convey
education and knowledge to Jewish children and adults.
the leader of HIAS [Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society]
in Europe; later the instigator of HIAS House in Beersheba
Thus we see the young Mietek during the first years after the First World War
1914-18 years of Sturm und Drang [storm and stress], of revolution, when
it seemed that a new epoch was coming to Europe, of freedom and security for
|Parents, sister and brother-in-law of Menachem Krycer|
|Balcze Krycer, the first dedicated midwife in Dąbrowa;
with her husband Eliezer
He arrived in the country in 1924. He was employed in heavy physical work and
also suffered from considerable hunger. However, it did not have an impact on
him and a day after heavy work accompanied by fever, he could be found with his
group on the shore in Tel Aviv, dancing the hora until the late night hours.
|A group of young people in the Polish military comrades of Mietek Krycer
a representative of Poalei-Zion in the City Council
Hunger has become my brother; I sneak out like an emaciated dog and look for a piece of bread and when night comes, I lay myself in bed and with my brother, hunger. I am satisfied that on my shoulders lies starving, skeleton days. I dance a hora with them, wildly carefree until the grey morning.
In between, Menachem found work cutting stone and was so terribly injured doing the work that it was necessary to amputate his foot, so he decided to return to Poland to his mother.
In September 1926, Menachem left the country and returned to Dąbrowa.
Disappointed and broken, he did not find peace of mind and decided to leave
again, this time for Canada where his sister, Lala, lived. However, Menachem
could not find his place here in Canada.
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