Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Franka Charlupski - June 18, 1985


Could you tell me your name, please and uh, where you are from?

I'm Franka Weintraub Charlupski. I'm from Łódź, Poland. During the German occupation was Litzmannstadt.

Tell me something... Whatever you remember about your life in Łódź before the war started.

Um, we were chased out of the cit...from the city into the ghetto only with what we could take with us. Some of the things were put on wagons and we were put in the ghetto. Uh, we got a room and we all shared it. We were um, my father and my sister and I because my mother had gone to a smaller town before they closed the ghetto in order...Hoping that uh, they can find more food than what we were having. The ghetto, my grandmother had a bakery there and uh, four children and my mother went to Kozienice, which was a city in Poland and uh, after a while she didn't hear from us and she began to worry and somehow she sneaked into the ghetto to see what happened to us. Uh, and once she was with us she couldn't go back, so my sister, Mala Dorfman, she became the um, head of the family and she watched out for the other children. Uh...

How large was your family?

We were six children and my parents. Besides uncles and aunts and cousins and uh, grandparents...

How large do you think the whole extended family was?

Oh, God. Everyone had at least five, six children uh, the parents...My mother had uh, about five brothers and sisters. My father had about the same and there were grandchildren. I would say every bit of fifty at least.

How many survived?

The Wayne family is three. Ourselves, we are three, is six. On my mother's side one cousin, which is seven that I know of, close. There is a possibility there are some alive and we wouldn't even know.

But, from fifty or sixty, you think about...

That's about what, what I know of.

What did your father do in Łódź?

My father uh, dealt with scrap, not iron um, fabrics. I don't know what you call it here uh, used to be a shmatte place. We were, we were comfortable, we weren't wealthy by no means but we had a nice home and uh, a nice home. Three rooms for six children and parents but at that point, we lived very nicely. Uh, during the ghetto, the Germans needed my father's services, so at one point, we could go out from the ghetto where the place was that my father had and I don't remember, he didn't sell it, he probably just worked for 'em and I did help him. But I can't remember what the situation was exactly. And, then after a month or so, we were completely locked into the ghetto and everyone worked. I worked in a fact...in a factory. I was very handy doing handwork, knitting, and weaving. I did that. My sister worked there, my father worked in another shop, and we got rations. We got, let's see, I don't know, I mean I don't remember, three pounds of potatoes a week and a bread or, and flour uh, there was no butter, maybe at one time we did get some. And uh, we worked eight hours a day and at work we would get a bowl of soup, water, but it was called soup. Uh, we stayed from 1940 to 1944 and we worked all through there. I did get married in the ghetto. I didn't have children and uh, in 1944 in August, we were taken to Auschwitz. We were separated; I was separated from my husband and my father. And my mother and I and Rosa, we went to one side and the men to the other and as we were walking we were holding onto my mother and somehow, I feel now that if we didn't hold on to her, she probably would have been alive. This way they knew it was a mother and they pulled her out because she was between us. We went one side to the left and she went to the right. And we never saw her after that. She was gassed. My father, I don't know if he was gassed or if he went to a camp and died there or...I don't know. And then Rosa and myself, we went to a concentration camp together, uh...

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