Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Franka Charlupski - June 18, 1985

Religious Life in the Ghetto

Now, in the ghetto, were there any similar kinds of ceremonies that went on?

Uh, yes, my father did keep kosher, we didn't eat any meat because there was horsemeat. If we did get a rations, however once in a while of meat, it was horsemeat. And my father wouldn't eat it. So, my mother prepared Shabbos to the best she could from uh, potato peelings, she made some kind of uh, potato latke or uh, a soup or whatever she had, whatever she could do. But the Kiddush was a Kiddush and we bentshed whatever. He didn't go to shul, he done it at home. My father did remain Orthodox, as long as I seen him, he remained Orthodox.

Did he have a beard?

Yes, a very short beard...Matter of fact, my son looks just like my father. You should see him.

Was that ever a problem when he had a beard when they were in Łódź?

Uh, they did shave his beard. Oh, there was, at one time, my parents were caught up uh, in um, they needed a picture for...You have to have like another passport uh, uh, Ausweisschein, which is, it would be a passport, this is what you would interpret it here. And they needed pictures and my mother was wearing a sheitel, a wig, and my father had to cut his beard for that picture and my mother had to take off her sheitel. Matter of fact, these pictures remain in my home, my sister brought them back from Poland. Uh, that was the day when they were hanging uh, on the??? the Plat...??? that's uh, they were hanging twelve Jews. They did something and everybody had to come out and see it. I remember that picture very well, too.

How did your parents react to when they had their pictures taken in that way?

You know, I don't know.

How did you react to seeing your father without a beard?

It, it was a shock. 'Cause as long as I knew my father, he had a beard. And sometimes I walk by and see the picture now without a beard, I just can't believe it, it's my father.

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