IGGY IN LOVE - a documentary/drama hybrid
My mother, my father, and the ghost of his lover.
In April of 1940 my father fled Warsaw. He carried a secret in his bag: Love letters between him and his first wife. In 2001, my mother found them.
1930’s Poland was rife with anti-Semitism. To be rid of its Jews the Polish government supported Zionists in their goal to create the state of Israel. Funding, training and arming paramilitary groups like Irgun. Mum and Dad met as Irgun operatives in their Warsaw cell. Both had other spouses.
My father and Irka, his first wife, were together in the early 20th century. But it was the romance of the 19th that informed their psyche. Deep inside their bubble, the couple ignored Irka's terminal illness and the rise of Nazism. Educated urbanites, assimilated Jews, Iggy and Irka, were cultured, well-travelled people. Cloistered behind walls of art, music, and literature, their astounding denial resonates today. As Irka sickened and died, so did European society collapse.
Their letters detail a charming courtship, matrimony, and a married couple’s domestic exchange. And finally, a helpless man’s awkward support for his dying wife. And, as she approaches the end, the most pitiable; Irka’s hollow reassurance to Iggy that all will be well.
Is our first love the most perfect? The passion before the practical business of domestic life. Before heartbreak and baggage. Certainly first love is the most romantic.
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