My Childhood Home

Hi, this is Bernice Steinhardt, one of Esther Krinitz’s daughters. My sister, Helene, and I are pleased to be able to share with you today our mother’s art and story.


My mother was born in 1927, in a little village in central Poland called Mniszek, near the town of Rachow, which is today known by its Polish name of Annapol.


This picture of my mother’s house and family was the very first picture she did. She had always talked about her life in Poland, both before and during the war. Helene and I can’t even recall a time, in fact, when we didn’t know her stories. And my mother was a great story teller.


But when she was about 50, she decided that she really wanted Helene and me to see what her home looked like. She had never been trained as an artist, and, in fact, she never thought of herself as an artist. She was somewhat nervous about doing this because she couldn’t draw. In fact, she wanted Helene to draw this picture for her. But, of course, Helene said ‘Mom, I don’t know what your house looked like.’ One thing she was confident in, though, was her sewing. She had been an apprentice to a dressmaker as a little girl, and she had a great gift for embroidery and sewing.


In this picture, my mother shows her whole family, with her at the bottom of the picture carrying water from the river. When she was done with the picture, she was very pleased. She felt she had captured what was in her mind’s eye.