Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Irving Altus - June 2, 1982

Pre-War Anti-Semitism

Can you recall any specific acts of anti-Semitism before the war?

Before the war, hm--well, they used to go around lately, before the war and like uh, they took you know, like, in Polish, "Don't buy by Jews." And they used to put people in the front of Jewish business. Not--we had two uh, two days during the week we had uh, like uh--what you call it in English--like flea markets. The farmers used to come and thing, like here, to the farmers you know, they used to come from, to the city from the farms...

Mm hm.

Tuesdays and Fridays. And then when the Jewish stores did a little more business you know, from the thing. So they used to put Gentile people in the front of the store and "Don't buy by Jews." So...

Were there any other acts of anti-Semitism? How about in school and...

We went to--just the Jewish kids. Besides the cheder, the, the public school was for Jewish kids.

It was completely segregated.


And the teachers were Jewish also?

Teacher, Jewi...yeah. But the teachers were mixed. Most Jewish teachers, but it was some Gentile teachers too, which they teach the--because they teach Polish, I mean, if you went to cheder, then you gotta have you know, Jews to teach you--you know, like prayers and stuff like this. But public school, they used to teach Polish. But the majority of the teachers were Jews and a few Gentiles because they got, they were paid from the government.

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