Oral history
Zeugen der Geschichte

Ewa Herbst

Name des Gesprächspartners:
Familienname des Gesprächspartners:
Interlocutor alias:
Przemysław Jaczewski
Aleksandra Przeździecka-Kujałowicz
8th Juni 2017
POLIN Museum of the History of the Polish Jews
März '68

Interlocutor biogram

Ewa Herbst was born in 1948. She was raised in Warsaw. Ewa Herbst's mother was a doctor-gynaecologist, her father, Emil Herbst, a pre-war communist, director of the Central Board of Press and Book Promotion “Ruch”. The Herbst family, despite their Jewish roots, was completely assimilated.

During the period of March 1968 Ewa Herbst was a first-year student of electronics at the Warsaw University of Technology. Following the March events, together with her mother and brother, who was 1.5 years younger than her, she decided to leave Poland. After the three of them left the country in 1969, Ewa Herbst's father stayed in Poland. Thanks to his connections, Ewa Herbst was able to visit Poland a few years later, but she was not admitted by the authorities during subsequent visits.

During the period of March 1968 and shortly after her emigration, Ewa Herbst wrote several dozen poems which, thanks to the efforts of her friends, were published in 2017 by the Austeria publishing house. Today, Ewa Herbst resides in the United States. She is an electronics engineer by profession and works in the field of medical electronics.

Recording circumstances description

The conversation was recorded during the Reunion'68 meeting in Naharija, Israel.

Recording summary

  1. Family, the experiences of family members during the anti-Semitic campaign, decision to leave Poland; 00:00:17
  2. Departure to Sweden; 00:05:15
  3. Poetic works in the period of the March events and departure from Poland, publication of poems; 00:06:08
  4. Reading fragments of the poems; 00:16:15
  5. Mental illness and death of her brother after arrival in Sweden, feelings connected with leaving Poland; 00:20:46
  6. First visit to Poland to her father, problems with re-entering the country; 00:26:31
  7. Friends and contacts with them, arrival at the “March” emigrants' convention in Israel; 00:30:30
  8. The beginning of the stay in Sweden, the environment of Polish Jews in Sweden; 00:33:24
  9. Stories of family members, mother's participation in the Warsaw Uprising; 00:35:02
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