Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Maurice Chandler - October 3, 1993

Passing as Polish II

Kostry Noski?

Yeah, Kostry Noski and uh, from there, went to a bridge building job.

What bridge building job?

Remember, I showed you the German Passierschein you know, the ???, you know.

So, you worked for a German company?

Yes, you know, with these guys--all these guys I remember--I'll never forget, one of them. I'll show you a picture. You know, they came from a shtetl called Zakroczym, not far from where I was born and they used to uh, you know, imitate how Jews used to talk. And uh, one would call the other--there's one in particular--one of the sheygets looks a little Jewish and they--them--because they were all from the same town. And this one guy would call him, "Hey, Shasek is a gantzer Yiddisher. Take a look. Doesn't he look like a Yiddisher?" I said, "What's a Yiddisher?" I said, "I don't understand." He says, "Where the heck," he says, "don't you know how the Jews talk?' He says, "The Jewish Yiddish." He says, "He's a--Shasek is a gantzer Yiddisher." This type of--these were these guys.

Tell me something; did you keep practicing your Catholic prayers nightly?

Oh, yes. It was so automatic, you know. As you sat down, every night, we sing. It's like we have--I don't know if you heard of the Yiddish, Krishma Leiner, the night prayer before you go to bed. It's a Catholic prayer, you know. Everybody--the whole house sings it and I was one of the loudest singers. I had a good voice.

You also learned that from Mrs...

No, that I picked up, you know, when I was working for the farmers. I picked it up and I chimed right in and overnight I learned it. All the words--I still remember all the words. I remember the melody and everything. And uh, so, this went on.

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