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sibiraks celebrates 70 years of memories

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  • Lucyna Artymiuk
    http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/life/city-couple-celebrates-70-years-of-mem ories-80402387.html City couple celebrates 70 years of memories Lifelong
    Message 1 of 2 , Jan 1, 2010
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      http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/life/city-couple-celebrates-70-years-of-mem
      ories-80402387.html






      City couple celebrates 70 years of memories


      Lifelong companions survive war, raising a family

      By: Sandy Klowak

      David and Ellen Peltz have moved into separate floors of a seniors home, but
      that can't keep them apart.


      <http://media.winnipegfreepress.com/images/1763135.jpg> Enlarge Image

      David and Ellen Peltz have moved into separate floors of a seniors home, but
      that can't keep them apart.

      Perched on matching armchairs at a Winnipeg seniors home and surrounded by
      family photos, David and Ellen (Elka) Peltz exude energy as they mark their
      70th wedding anniversary today.

      David, who turns 94 next month and is the talker of the two, speaks
      authoritatively about their life. Ellen, 98, listens with a knowing grin and
      a twinkle in her eye and occasionally adds in dates and other details.

      Theirs was not a fairy-tale romance, but a bond made out of wartime
      necessity. Both born into Jewish families in Zamosc, Poland, Ellen had been
      a friend of David's sister. Briefly called to the Polish army, David
      returned home in 1939 after only 10 months, when the nation fell to the
      Germans. Heeding rumours of the Nazis' plan for the Jews, he decided to
      leave his German-occupied city to head east into Soviet territory for
      safety. Ellen was eager to accompany him. Since they'd known each other for
      years, it made sense to travel together.

      Staying at David's aunt's home in Lviv, Ellen cooked their food and did
      their wash. They were always together and friends and relatives assumed it
      was a romantic relationship. They were married Dec. 31, 1939.

      "To be single is not comfortable any time, especially in wartime," David
      said. "The circumstance was just speeded up."

      Displaced by the Soviet government, they went to Siberia, where David worked
      cutting trees for two years. In 1942, they were released to Tajikistan,
      where David worked in a rawhide tannery. It was familiar work to David,
      whose father was a rawhide salesman. After a stay in Germany, the couple
      moved to Winnipeg in 1950. They raised four daughters, who have given them
      five grandchildren and two great-grand kids, said Ellen, beaming as she
      pointed out their photos on the wall.

      David worked several jobs before the couple opened a grocery store on
      Hargrave Street and Assiniboine Avenue, which they ran for 20-odd years.
      Ellen, a dressmaker, worked alongside David in the store and did sewing work
      to bring in extra income. "They were hard-working people that came to this
      country and wanted a good life for them and their children," said eldest
      daughter, Sonia Kaplan. She remembers fondly how her mother walked several
      blocks with her children each morning so they could catch the bus to a
      Jewish school. "They gave us what they could."

      After suffering a fall in their house earlier this year, Ellen moved to a
      room at the Saul and Claribel Simkin Centre and her husband soon followed.
      "What would I do with myself (living alone at the house) after 69 years to
      be married?" David asks.

      For now, his room is directly above his wife's -- they ride the elevator
      daily to see each other. After sleeping in the same bed for 70 years, it's a
      bit of an adjustment. "We are sick and tired of this elevator business,"
      David said. They are hoping to move into a double room when one becomes
      available. The Peltzes don't seem too worked up about their momentous
      anniversary. They're taking it in stride. For Ellen, it's simple.

      "Life has to go on. Every year is different," she said. "The dream comes
      different" than you imagine. "Life is not easy," she said.

      "The best thing for people is to be occupied," said David. "No couple is 100
      per cent satisfied in marriage but you make the best of it. We didn't have
      time for nonsense," said the self-described workaholic. "I was used to this
      kind of life. Doing nothing, it drives me nuts!" he said. "Too much time to
      think here."

      Though their situation is not ideal, they're grateful to be just an elevator
      ride from each other in this new phase of their life, said David.

      "We are lucky, no question about it."

      <mailto:sandy.klowak@...> sandy.klowak@...

      Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition December 31, 2009 B8





      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • Stefan Wisniowski (KS)
      I am impressed by the survival of this brave Jewish-Polish couple into their 90s! However, I am astounded by the misleading gloss their history has had put on
      Message 2 of 2 , Jan 1, 2010
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        I am impressed by the survival of this brave Jewish-Polish couple into their
        90s!



        However, I am astounded by the misleading gloss their history has had put on
        it. Was this by the newspaper or by the survivors themselves?
        Specifically:



        1. "he decided to leave his German-occupied city to head east into
        Soviet territory [Lviv]" - really means "he decided to leave his
        German-occupied city to head east and secretly cross the new border
        splitting occupied Poland between the Germans and their Soviet allies, into
        Soviet-occupied territory" (Lviv/Lwow is a Polish city that was invaded and
        occupied by the Soviets with their German allies)



        2. "Displaced by the Soviet government, they went to Siberia, where
        David worked cutting trees�- means "arrested and deported as "enemies of the
        people" by the Soviet occupation forces in a secret deal with the Nazis,
        they were transported in cattle trains to Siberia, where David worked
        cutting trees as a slave labourer forced to earn his meager rations"



        3. "In 1942, they were released" - means "when Nazi Germany attacked
        its Soviet allies in July 1941, Stalin was forced to grant them an "amnesty"
        and release them and all his other Polish prisoners to join the fight
        against the Germans"



        How can we get our story across about what really happened? Krysia, you are
        in Winnipeg - can you call the newspaper reporter directly to convey "the
        other side of the story"?



        Regards



        --
        STEFAN WI�NIOWSKI
        Foundation President

        Kresy-Siberia Foundation
        "Established to inspire, promote and support research, remembrance and
        recognition of Polish citizens' struggles in the Eastern Borderlands and in
        Exile during World War 2." Registered in Poland (KRS 0000326445), UK
        (Company No. 6946138), Australia (ABN 63136599776) & other countries
        pending.

        <http://www.kresy-siberia.org/> www.Kresy-Siberia.org



        ul. Krakowskie Przedmie�cie 64 lok. 31

        00-322 Warszawa, Polska

        tel/fax +48 22 556 90 55



        Personal:
        3 Castle Circuit Close
        Seaforth NSW 2092 Australia
        Tel +61 411 864 873
        Stefan.Wisniowski@...









        From: Kresy-Siberia@yahoogroups.com [mailto:Kresy-Siberia@yahoogroups.com]
        On Behalf Of Lucyna Artymiuk
        Sent: Saturday, January 02, 2010 12:30 AM
        To: Kresy-Siberia@yahoogroups.com
        Subject: [Kresy-Siberia] sibiraks celebrates 70 years of memories







        http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/life/city-couple-celebrates-70-years-of-mem
        ories-80402387.html

        City couple celebrates 70 years of memories

        Lifelong companions survive war, raising a family

        By: Sandy Klowak

        David and Ellen Peltz have moved into separate floors of a seniors home, but
        that can't keep them apart.

        <http://media.winnipegfreepress.com/images/1763135.jpg> Enlarge Image

        David and Ellen Peltz have moved into separate floors of a seniors home, but
        that can't keep them apart.

        Perched on matching armchairs at a Winnipeg seniors home and surrounded by
        family photos, David and Ellen (Elka) Peltz exude energy as they mark their
        70th wedding anniversary today.

        David, who turns 94 next month and is the talker of the two, speaks
        authoritatively about their life. Ellen, 98, listens with a knowing grin and
        a twinkle in her eye and occasionally adds in dates and other details.

        Theirs was not a fairy-tale romance, but a bond made out of wartime
        necessity. Both born into Jewish families in Zamosc, Poland, Ellen had been
        a friend of David's sister. Briefly called to the Polish army, David
        returned home in 1939 after only 10 months, when the nation fell to the
        Germans. Heeding rumours of the Nazis' plan for the Jews, he decided to
        leave his German-occupied city to head east into Soviet territory for
        safety. Ellen was eager to accompany him. Since they'd known each other for
        years, it made sense to travel together.

        Staying at David's aunt's home in Lviv, Ellen cooked their food and did
        their wash. They were always together and friends and relatives assumed it
        was a romantic relationship. They were married Dec. 31, 1939.

        "To be single is not comfortable any time, especially in wartime," David
        said. "The circumstance was just speeded up."

        Displaced by the Soviet government, they went to Siberia, where David worked
        cutting trees for two years. In 1942, they were released to Tajikistan,
        where David worked in a rawhide tannery. It was familiar work to David,
        whose father was a rawhide salesman. After a stay in Germany, the couple
        moved to Winnipeg in 1950. They raised four daughters, who have given them
        five grandchildren and two great-grand kids, said Ellen, beaming as she
        pointed out their photos on the wall.

        David worked several jobs before the couple opened a grocery store on
        Hargrave Street and Assiniboine Avenue, which they ran for 20-odd years.
        Ellen, a dressmaker, worked alongside David in the store and did sewing work
        to bring in extra income. "They were hard-working people that came to this
        country and wanted a good life for them and their children," said eldest
        daughter, Sonia Kaplan. She remembers fondly how her mother walked several
        blocks with her children each morning so they could catch the bus to a
        Jewish school. "They gave us what they could."

        After suffering a fall in their house earlier this year, Ellen moved to a
        room at the Saul and Claribel Simkin Centre and her husband soon followed.
        "What would I do with myself (living alone at the house) after 69 years to
        be married?" David asks.

        For now, his room is directly above his wife's -- they ride the elevator
        daily to see each other. After sleeping in the same bed for 70 years, it's a
        bit of an adjustment. "We are sick and tired of this elevator business,"
        David said. They are hoping to move into a double room when one becomes
        available. The Peltzes don't seem too worked up about their momentous
        anniversary. They're taking it in stride. For Ellen, it's simple.

        "Life has to go on. Every year is different," she said. "The dream comes
        different" than you imagine. "Life is not easy," she said.

        "The best thing for people is to be occupied," said David. "No couple is 100
        per cent satisfied in marriage but you make the best of it. We didn't have
        time for nonsense," said the self-described workaholic. "I was used to this
        kind of life. Doing nothing, it drives me nuts!" he said. "Too much time to
        think here."

        Though their situation is not ideal, they're grateful to be just an elevator
        ride from each other in this new phase of their life, said David.

        "We are lucky, no question about it."

        <mailto:sandy.klowak@... <mailto:sandy.klowak%40freepress.mb.ca>
        > sandy.klowak@... <mailto:sandy.klowak%40freepress.mb.ca>

        Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition December 31, 2009 B8

        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]





        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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