Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Miriam Biegun - August 10, 1983

Family Before the War

Um, how old were you when the war started? When the Germ...

Four years old.

You were four years old. Tell me something about uh, your family, whatever you remember before the war?

Let's see. My parents, you know, in a small town everybody knows everybody. My father was a businessman, and he made very good, you know. Uh, I think that's what you call it, from cattle. A cattle dealer, and I had a very nice living until the German came town.

How large is your family?

Let's see, my father is--you mean how many uncles, aunties I had?

Brothers, sisters?

I have--I had a brother and a sister, and my mother was expecting a baby. She had it in ghetto.

In the ghetto?


So you had uh, two brothers and a sister.


And how many aunts and uncles?

Oh, I had from my mother's side about two uncle. My mother had two brothers and two sisters, and mine father had um, eight.

And could you estimate how many cousins there were?

Oh, I don't know exactly, but everybody had about two, three childrens or more.

Of all those...

We don't know exactly because they were in different cities.

What city was your mother from?

My mother was from łuck. It's close to Słonim.

Uh, what was her name, her maiden name?

Her maiden name was Tilitiski.

Of all the brothers and sisters you had, your father had eight brothers and sisters. Your mother had...

Two brothers, two sisters.

So that's twelve, plus children. How many of those survived the war?

Uh, just mine brother, my father, a sister that she came to the United States in 1918, and one brother survived, and he passed away a couple of years ago in Israel.

Your father's brother?


And from your immediate family?

And from my mother, nobody survived, just second cousins.

And your brothers and sisters?

Yeah, mine brother and my sister survived.

So the baby did not survive?

The baby got killed together with my mother in the ghetto.

Okay, so that uh, four immediate survivors. Um, we have pictures here of your, your mother and father, and do you want to tell me who they are?

This is the father, and this is my father's, not all of his brothers went to Israel, to United States, and a couple fell sick. This is my brother, my father. This is the brother that got killed with my father together when the German came in. She was married, and she had, I think, a boy and a girl. She got killed, too, in the Holocaust. And the rest of the--this was the uncle that's we came--he's helped us to survive. He passed away in Israel. This is my father's father and mother. This is my mother, here when she was a little girl, her brother and one of her sisters.

So these pictures are quite old? ???

The pictures are old. We didn't have the pictures. Somebody's second cousins here in United States had the pictures, and we made duplicates from them, and you could see how, you know, they are getting ready to...

Tell me what you remember about um, your mother, your father, grandfather?

I can't say too much because I was too little. I don't remember the parents very well at all. I just remember pieces, ends and pieces here and there. My--the family were ??? Orthodox, you know, and I don't--too much, you know, can't remember too much because we're young, but later on, you know, memories gets in the back and remember more.

They come back.


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