Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Miriam Brysk - February 7, 2004


The following is an interview with Miriam Miasnik Brysk on February 7, 2004 at her home in Ann Arbor. The interviewer is Sidney Bolkosky.

Can you tell me your name please and uh, and where you were born?

My name is Miriam Brysk. I was born Miriam Miasnik and I was born in Warsaw in uh, March of 1935.

Um, how big was your family?

My family, my father's whole family was in the town of Lida, they were from Lida. So the family in Warsaw were predominantly my mother's family, and they included my grandparents. And uh, my mother had uh, three, three siblings in uh, in Warsaw uh, two had come--gone to America before the war. And extended family of aunts and uncles and...

If you would say how many people--roughly how many people in Warsaw?

I don't know if you consider someone who's more extended family, probably forty, fifty people when you go into cousins and all that.

And your father's side in Lida?

My, my father's side--my, my, my father did have a few relatives in Warsaw. My mother--my father's side was from the town of Lida. His, his father had died when he uh, started medical school. So he--so it was just his mother. His, his other brothers had emigrated to America before the war. And uh, it included a lot of aunts and uncles and cousins, a lot of whom I never really got to know because I lived in Warsaw. And uh, when we did go to Lida uh, it was wartime and we didn't get together on a regular basis. So I don't remember as much of that family.

Of both sides of the family, how many would you estimate survived the war?


Or, or conversely, how many do you think were killed?

Let's see. Other than my parents, I had uh, one uncle that survived--her brother survived the war. He was in, in Central Asia. Uh, most of the family--a few, a few cousins from my mother's side--there were two cousins that survived. Uh, all the others were killed. My father's side--my, my mother--my grandmother was, of course, killed. And uh, one, one cousin survived that I know of uh, other than the people who had come to America before the war, of course they weren't part of it.

Um, what were your parents' names?

My, my mother's name was--her, her, her name was ???, but everybody called her Bronka. So she was always Bronka. And uh, my father's name was Chaim. She was Bronka Zablocki. Uh, my fa...grandfather's name was Zablocki and my father's name was Miasnik, which in Russian means butcher and, indeed, his father was one. And his two brothers who came to America were butchers. He became a surgeon so he could operate on real people.

You had no siblings.

No, no siblings.

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