Notes from the Other World

On September 22, 2014 a public meeting with Dr. Leszek Allerhand who survived the Holocaust in Lwow was held in the conference room of the Center for Urban History. During the meeting there was a screening of the film "Notes from the Other World," based on the book of the same name, in which the author talks about hiding and fighting for his life in Nazi-occupied Lwow. In the film Dr. Allerhand visits his childhood homes and the places that became a refuge for him and his mother during the war.  

In 1992, Leszek found in the Jewish Historical Institute a diary from 1941-42 written by his grandfather Maurycy Allerhand – a law professor at the Lwow University. Maurycy Allerhand was killed in the Yaniv concentration camp, but his memoirs survived thanks to Professor Stephen Stasyak. Leszek Allerhand added to his grandfather’s diary detailed memories of his experiences of the Holocaust. This was the basis for the book "Notes from the Other World," which was published in 2003 and became a best seller in Poland. In addition, in 2010, his lavishly illustrated work, "The Jews of Lwow: A Narrative" was published.

Leszek Allerhand was born in Lwow in 1931. He comes from a family of assimilated Polish Jews. His father and grandfather were prominent lawyers. In his lifetime, Maurycy Allerhand published over 1,000 academic papers in the field of civil, commercial, and procedural law. Out of the over 30 people in Allerhand family, only Leszek and his parents survived the Holocaust. After the war they moved to Krakow. Leszek Allerhand became a doctor, worked as the chief doctor of the Polish Winter Olympic team. Now he lives in Zakopane.

Dr. Allerhand returned to the city of his childhood for the first time back in 1968 as a tourist. After that he visited the city several times, but this was the first public meeting with him in Lviv. After the screening of the film "Notes from the Other World" there was an open discussion about interpersonal relationships and moral dilemmas in extreme conditions of war, about the complex pages of the shared past, memory, and reconciliation.

The meeting was moderated by Anna Susak, a sociologist, graduate of the Polish Academy of Sciences, researcher at the Center for Urban History of East Central Europe (projects "Region, Nation, and Others," "The Place of Jewish History in Lviv").

The meeting was accompanied by the opening of Jason Francisco’s exhibition "Surviving in Lwow: One Childhood Remembered."