Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Isaac Engel - June 16 & 25, 1992

Jewish Community

W...w...were there Jewish social agencies that took care of the Jews in the town?

Oh yes. There was a Jewish like community council here. They called it the, the Gemeine. In German also it was, it was like this. A Gemeine. And they took care of the needs of, all the Jewish needs. Like if everything they were paying the rabbi in the city and they, they took care of all the, the--everything what it has to do with Judaism and all the thing. And some were even, some uh, those eh, small eh, learning places which were poor people they were under them which there, there were people they couldn't pay. Like cheder, you had only, you had to pay. Uh, the rabbi had to make a living. But the ones didn't pay they had like a Talmud Torah, they call it. Where poor kids were learning there. And it was all taken care by the community. Everybody was taxed. And it was by uh, and this was like a enforceable tax. The same guy, the one he collected taxes. If somebody didn't pay, the same guy they sent him to collect the taxes for the Jews. It was a enforceable item.

Was there an orphanage too?

No. By us there wasn't. There were no orphanage by us. But there were some orphans.

And the community took care of them?

Yes. There were no social security, put it--but uh, people took care. People--the Jewish people were generous people. And they uh, more or less if they knew that somebody doesn't have it, or didn't have it, people were taken care of. Maybe not a hundred percent, but eighty--ninety percent.

Tell me a little bit about your mother.

My mother uh, what would you like to know about her?

Well, what she looked like, what she did at home.

She was in the business too.


She was bored. She was a housewife. And a--see, we had a business was in, in place and upstairs we had, we live. She had some help sometimes you know, she had a girl sometime that helped out.

A Polish girl?


Polish girl?

Sometime. She had Polish, she had Jewish girls. Most of the time Jewish girls. I think the one time she had a Polish girl. But most of the time she had Jewish girls. And she did well. She was in the business. She knew the business just like everybody else.

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