Herman Klejman Z"l
(1914 – 1999)

 Biography submitted by grandaughter.

Born on 16 December 1914 in Pszasnysz. He was a sixth and last child of Menachem Klejman, a grain trader, and Felicja Klejman née Nowińska, a pianist. His father died in 1914, before Herman’s birth. Menachem died during his way to serve refugee sentence in Siberia, which was a result of him opposing to give of grain to Russian authorities. At that time Russia was ruling this part of Polish territory.

Soon after Herman’s birth the Klejmans moved to Płock. Herman, his mother, aunt, three sisters (Mira, Dora and Sala) and two brothers (Jerzy and Matys) lived in a flat in Królewiecka Street. The whole family lived on money earned by the mother who was giving piano lessons, and the oldest sister Mira who was a teacher in grammar school. Herman’s mother Felicja died in 1923.

Herman graduated from "Władysław Jagiełło" secondary school, so-called "Jagielonka", in Płock. In years 1933-1939 he was studying in Electricity faculty of Warsaw Polytechnic. Start of the Second World War made it impossible for Herman to defend his thesis and obtain Master of Science degree, which was arranged for September 1939.

When the war broke out, Herman decided to escape the German offensive by travelling to Soviet Union. Finally, after few months of stormy migration, Herman together with his friend from Warsaw Polytechnic – Olek Frenkel, arrived to Odessa. There they continued their studies and graduated in 1941, just before Germany turned against Soviet Union. This situation resulted in Herman being enrolled in the Red Army where he held a position of an electrician. Together with the retreating army Herman found himself in Kurgan in the Ural Mountains where he worked as the Main Electrician at military construction sites.

In Kurgan, Herman met and then in 1944 married Anna Rubinstein, war refugee from Tallin in Estonia. They both stayed in Kurgan till the end of the war in Europe. After that, Herman and Anna decided to settle in Poland. In 1946 they arrived to Dzierżoniów in southwestern part of Poland, where their daughter Felicja was born. In the same year Herman started working as a constructor and inventor in radio equipment production plant.

For a few years after the war Herman was trying to gather information concerning his sisters and brothers. It turned out that his sister Mira and brother Jerzy with wife Barbara have been killed in Warsaw Ghetto. Jerzy and Barbara’s daughter survived the Holocaust. Another sister Dora and brother Matys have been killed by Nazis in unknown circumstances. The last sister Sala has been murdered in Ukraine when she was travelling to join Herman in Soviet Union. She was pregnant at that time.

In 1951 Herman and his family moved to Warsaw. There he was holding executive positions in radio-communications, telecommunications and electronics industries till 1961. After that Herman became the Electronics Specialist in KNIT (Science and Technology Committee). He focused his efforts on emerging branch of electronics – laser technology, to which he devoted the rest of his professional career.

In 1968 Herman was removed from his post for political and ethnical reasons that emerged in the country at that time. He then decided to redirect his career into field of popularization of science and technology. Herman started working as an editor in "Telecommunications Review" and second editor in "Electronics", which both are popular scientific magazines. He also was an author and co-author of number of books, handbooks and other publications concerning electronics, especially laser technology. Many of these were first Polish publications concerning their subjects and were then republished internationally. After retirement in 1980 Herman was still very actively participating in popularization of laser technology. His work and input into making laser technology popular in Poland are well recognized and appreciated by Herman’s colleagues as well as scientific environment.

For all the years after the war Herman was in contact with his friends from times in Płock. Most of these friends emigrated to USA and Israel.

Through all his life Herman played piano, an activity and interest that he has inherited after his mother and still runs in the family.

Herman Klejman died in January 1999 after short period of sickness. He was 84 years old. His body has been buried in Jewish Graveyard in Warsaw.

Herman’s wife Anna, retired teacher of Russian, his daughter Felicja, lecturer of French at Warsaw University, his granddaughter Agnieszka, graduate from Warsaw School of Economics as well as his brother’s daughter, lawyer – all live in Warsaw.


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