The International School for Holocaust Studies
Family History of the late Salomea Gruener
Salomea Wiener was born on 8 September 1911 in Krakow. She was the only child of Zygmunt Wiener (born 1882 in Pradnik Czernwony, near Krakow, son of Abraham Wiener and Maria nee Rothwein) and Eugenia (or Gluckla) nee Amster (born 1887 in Myślenice, daughter of Berel and Maria nee Nichthauser). Salomea’s father, Zygmunt Wiener, and his brother-in-law Justyn Goldhammer had a construction materials wholesale company in Krakow before the war. Salomea lived with her parents until the outbreak of the war. After the war broke out she and her fiancé, lawyer Henryk Gruener, left for Lviv, where they married in 1940. Towards the end of 1940, Salomea and Henryk Gruener were arrested and deported by Soviet authorities to Central Asia. They were released in 1941 under the Sikorski-Mayiski Agreement, and joined the Polish army that was being formed by Gen. Wladyslaw Anders in the USSR at that time. Salomea and her husband worked for the army (in the department of censorship) until 1945, initially in Teheran and then in Bombay, from where they emigrated to Australia after they were released from the army. Salomea’s parents, Zygmunt and Eugenia, stayed in Krakow after the war broke out. In 1942 they were resettled to the Krakow ghetto, where they died; shot by the Nazis in Limanowskiego Street in July 1942.
Salomea’s closest relative that is alive is her first cousin Artur Bronislaw Goldhammer, now residing in London. Artur (born 1933 in Krakow) is a son of Justyn Goldhammer (Salomea’s father’s business partner) and Gitla Amster (Salomea’s mother’s sister). Artur Goldhammer lived in Sydney for some time and, after he converted to Christianity, his cousin Salomea broke off all contact with him.
Henryk died in Melbourne, Australia, and since then Salomea lived alone and childless, but with a close and personable group of friends – mainly Jewish and mainly Holocaust survivors.
In her latter years, Salomea lived at the Jewish Care facility in Melbourne – initially at a low-care level, but subsequently at a high-care level after the onset of dementia and related old-age illnesses. She had out-lived most of her friends by the time she passed away, and regretfully her funeral was a lonely affair.
Her commitment to the Jewish people is admirably testified by her substantial bequest to Yad Vashem and the establishment of the The Salomea Gruener Yad Vashem Scholarship.