3. The Prison
5. Warszawska Street

[The House of Cukier]

On Piłsudski Street, behind the prison building and Wałowa Street lived Anna Kahan’s tutor – Teresa Cukier.

The House of Cukier

It is not easy to determine in which house Teresa Cukier gave Anna Kahan private lessons, as the source records are very scant and there was a renumbering of houses. However, it is possible to specify some of the addresses. A part of the registration books survived and can now be found in the State Archive in Siedlce. We can find there information that the prison was located on plot number 65, whereas the house of Szmul Cukier was located at 71 Piłsudski Street (previously Warszawska Street). Before 1939, looking towards the west, the building order was as follows, the headquarters building of the 9th Infantry Division (currently a medical clinic) at number 67, then the first building behind Wałowa Street at number 69. The house of Cukier’s was the second from Wałowa Street, located at 71 Warszawska Street (currently 53 Piłsudski Street).

In September 1939, the first of the mentioned buildings (currently at 51 Piłsudski Street), just behind Wałowa Street was bombed by the German air force. In its place was erected a modern building, which now houses a shop with bikes and scooters.

On May 30, 1915, Anna Kahan described her hopes and dreams of continuing education.

“I think back to the time when Brokhe and I graduated the town school. I was nine and Brokhe – eleven. My father thought that for girls in our circumstances we had had enough education. A rabbi had taught us to read Habrew, so that we could follow the prayers, and my cousin Gitl had given us a few lessons in reading and writing Yiddish. But my mother dreamed of giving her children a higher education.”

It was a difficult year for all residents of Siedlce. Two and a half months later, the period of the Russian Partition of Poland ended and the German occupation began.

Anna Kahan was preparing for her final exams at the end of 4th grade of the Russian Gymnasium for Girls (a secondary school) which was located at 4 Długa Street (currently Bishop Świrski Street). She studied under the guidance of a Russian student. However, Anna’s very religious father did not want to accept the fact that the pupils had to attend the school also on Saturdays. The plans were changed and Anna’s parents decided to send their daughter to Jadwiga Barszczewska’s Private School of Business for Girls in which Jewish pupils were allowed to miss classes on Saturdays – a day of Sabbath. A new tutor, Teresa Cukier, a student from Barszczewska’s school was also hired. At the beginning, the tutor decided to replace Russian textbooks with Polish ones because lessons were taught in Polish.

Yet, only nine months later, Anna Kahan’s mother told the tutor that her husband’s business was not doing well and they could no longer afford to pay for their daughter’s tuition. Under the circumstances, Teresa Cukier suggested that she would teach Anna in her house for free as she felt sorry to part with such a promising pupil. As a result, once a week, Anna walked to the other end of the city, to Teresa Cukier’s house for her hour-long lesson.

We go to the other side of Piłsudski Street and turn back heading for the city centre. After passing the intersection with Wojskowa Street, we will pass the building, which housed the “Hazomir”

3. The Prison
5. Warszawska Street
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