Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Simon Cymerath - June 8, 1982


All right. Uh, and how large was your family?

My family was uh, just my own family was five children and uh, father and mother, plus a lot of relatives from both sides, from my father's and from my mother's side.

Where were you in the family? Were you the youngest?

I was the second. My sister was older, but uh, she's dead.

From your immediate family that you had...

I got only one brother left.

All the others were killed in the war?


How large would you say the extended family was? Aunts, uncles, cousins.



At least, between forty and forty-five uh, people.

And how many s...survived the war?

Just me and my brother.

Uh, what did your father do?

My father had uh, a shoe store, selling shoes. I'm going to bring it out later--see my uncle was a painting contractor. That's the reason I survived the Holocaust, because I learned the trade when I was twelve years old. When I came in the concentration camp, they needed trades. That's the reason I pushed through the concentration camp. I knew the trade because I learned before the war.

Was your family um, Orthodox? Did you go to shul regularly?

Oh yeah.

You went to cheder?

I went to cheder since I was four years old actually 'til I was Bar Mitzvah, I went to cheder. And uh, I uh, learned you know, and I belonged to the uh, Shomer Ha-Tsa'ir. That's an organization uh, for Israel. You know, in the future, somebody wants to go or--so, I had the upbringing. My grandfather was highly educated in uh, Jewish law, so I went to good rabbi uh, cheders you know, and I got a good Jewish education.

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