Moja Mamusia, My Mum, Henia (Henryka) (Hermelin) Flantz

dzisiaj crop1Heniadzisiaj crop2dzisaij crop3



henia hk1











i jeszce kilka słów, tylko w angielsku

& a few more words, that I won’t try to write in Polish, which no longer comes easily to me, nor in Hebrew,
which I speak & read & write almost as much as English…


W Hong Kongu z Mamusią, tak jeszcze nazywałem jej tam, i ona mnie nazywała Rysio
In Hong Kong with Mamusia, as I still called my mother then, and she called me Rysio

Not long afterwards I’d start & continue calling her Mum, & she’d call me Richard, because after we reached Australia I spoke to her only in English. The pics below were taken outside the Peninsula Hotel in Kowloon, where we, together with a few hundred other Jewish refugees from Shanghai, almost all of them like us also refugees from Holocaust Europe who had found some sort of haven in that then Japanese-occupied  yet, also somehow “international” city, one of the few places in the world one could enter then without a visa were enabled to stay through the endeavors of the “Joint” (JDC) & the philanthropic generosity 0f the hotel’s owners, Lawrence & Horace Kadoorie, who made the entire sixth (top) floor, which in normal times was the hotel’s ballroom, available to us as sleeping quarters  (sheets were hung from a long rope extending from he entrance to the rear of the hall, men slept on the left & women & children — including pre- & almost adolescent boys like myself — on the right), & provided three full meals a day to all in two “sittings” in the hotel’s dining room, & a synagogue room for the religious among the refugees…
Our six or so months in Hong Kong, waiting for a ship that would take us to our new home country was for me at 10, and also for her at 41, both a difficult & a wonderful period (her memoirings of this period can be read in the chapter Via Hong Kong to Melbourne of My Mother’s Memoirs that I published some time ago on this blog. I think in a way we were closer to one another at this time than at any other time in my life that I can remember…But other stories (& pics ) I’ve since found  from then will have to wait for other times…
henia r hk1

henia r hk2









henia hk2


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