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A Family Searches for Its History

Teatr NN. PL  (Grodzk Gate--NN Theatre). A museum and research center dedicated to Lublin’s Jews. In 1939, there were 120,000 people in Lublin, of which 43,000 were Jewish. The Teatr NN. Pl is a place of mourning and healing. Magda Pokrzycka who “truly” opened the door to a recovered history. The primary goal of Teatr NN. is to document all aspects of Jewish life and death leading up to and following WW II.

 

At the end of 1997, Fay Krokower set out to discover the particulars of what happened to her mother’s family during World War II.  She already knew that her grandparents and four other relatives perished at the hands of the Nazis, in what she expected to have been Majdanek, the concentration camp that was contained within the city limits of her family’s hometown, Lublin, in Poland.  Fay’s mother was able to leave Lublin before the war, and emigrated as a young teen to Canada, to begin a new life with a distant relative.

Fay’s initial attempts to research the past had begun with her contacting the Red Cross.  Over a period of nearly two years, bits and pieces of information made their way from Poland to the States.  Full names, ages, trades of family members were submitted and validated.  The Polish Red Cross Society confirmed the family’s original residence as well as the apartment to which they were relocated prior to their last journey to an extermination camp.

The pages that follow link past efforts of research with new avenues of possibility to fill in the missing pages of the family’s history, thus making it clear that possibilities can become reality.  The first step to recovering history started at Teatr NN (housed and named for the Jewish Theater in which it exists).  Teatr NN has been about the business of documenting every aspect of Jewish life during the war years, collecting testimonies and data, reconstructing maps and models of the original Jewish quarter, maintaining a museum resulting from its research, and hosting workshops and major events to commemorate the Holocaust as it happened in Lublin, Poland.

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