Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

David Burdowski - May 13, 1982

Life Before the War

To go back to, to Kłodawa where I come from uh, my parents uh, had uh, six kids. They were not, they were not poor but then they weren't wealthy either. They uh, had uh, a little uh, store where used to sell uh, uh, dishes and, and uh, things like that. Uh, the city itself, we had about a thousand Jewish families. It was a very nice city to live in but the uh, uh, Poles didn't let us live. The anti...anti-Semitism was very, very bad. Uh, we had a couple of uh, pogroms in this city as I can remember as a kid and that's it.

What--could--in the store, did all of the children work in the store, or...

No. The uh, one of my brothers was, was a, a barber and when the war broke out he uh, took me in to help him and that's how I became a barber.

You're a barber now?


And the rest of the children?

They uh, uh, one was, was a tailor and uh, one uh, was uh, in also in business uh, selling clothing--clothes I should say, to make uh, clothing. And uh, the girls didn't do anything; they were too young.

And were you a very Orthodox family?

In home? Yeah.

What was Shabbos like at your house?

Shabbos was like Shabbos. Nobody worked.

It was a, a holiday?

Oh yeah, it was a holiday all right.

What did you do? What did you do on Shabbos?

Oh, we had to go to the synagogue. Everybody did. And uh, you had to have the Friday meal--Friday night meal. And then Shabbos, in the morning everybody went to the shul and when you come home it's a regular Shabbos dinner. It's kind of hard to describe from here, you know. It was, it was really a pleasure being together.

Where--did, did you go to school? You were too young...

Uh, yeah I went to school until I was uh, fourteen years old. And once the Germans come in, you couldn't go to school.

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