Michelle Ann Kratts

Searching for some old friends…

In Lewiston, Lewiston Public Library, School Days on August 7, 2013 at 3:48 pm

Recently, while cleaning out my files, I came across some interesting histories to share. And as summer comes to a grinding halt, it seems quite appropriate to tell the tale of Lewiston’s early schools.

But first…the story of the war refugee and his tie to our schools here in Lewiston…

Following the Second World War, F.  Janovsky, a refugee from Czechoslovakia, found himself in Germany in several camps for Displaced Persons. Many years later he came across something that triggered his memory and made him think of the kind children from Lewiston, New York. It was a photograph of the old Lewiston Union School. He never came here to visit, but he was forever grateful for all the nice things that had been sent to him and for what this photograph represented to him–the kindness of Americans.

Somehow, life ordered him off to Australia, and it was from this island nation that he sent a letter to Lewiston–along with the yellowed photograph–hoping it would make it to the old school (with special instructions to “please direct to town library” if the school was no longer in existence). And so this is how the Lewiston Library obtained this special heart-felt letter.

I don’t know for sure if anyone had taken him up on the offer to become “pen pals.” The letter was postmarked March 3, 1992. I was not a staff member at the time, so I am unsure of any details.   I have provided below a copy of the letter and the photograph. Perhaps some present day Lewiston students would like to try to send a letter to “F. Janovsky” of Australia.

Letter from Australia

Letter from F. Janovsky


Lewiston Union School

Lewiston Union School about 1949


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