Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Manya Auster Feldman - August 11, 1998

Relations with Non-Jews

What about Pilsudski?

During his regime wasn't too bad. It was--anti-Semitism was all the time. But he sort of had a handle on it, a control, so--and he was the prime minister. So the same, like the, the, the house of, the house of representatives here, they were under his control. So it wasn't that bad. Nevertheless, in school the children were anti-Semitic. I had to repeat a year of school after I finished my Hebrew school because there was nothing to do. So I went for another year to public school. There I experienced a lot, a lot of anti-Semitism. To begin with, they started the day with a prayer. And the and the gentile kids had to kneel and we didn't. So right away, you saw who is Jewish and who is not. And the teachers, the teachers were making remarks about the Jews being Christ killers and all this sort of thing. And Jews are, are cheaters and, and bad people.

So what kinds of anti-Semitic experiences did you have?

I--in p...p...particular? Well, we saw it every day. They used to, you know, pass by and call us names. We used to get up in the morning and on our porch we found writings, Kill the Jews and Save Russia or Save Poland. Then after Pilsudski had died, they, they started the um, um, the rebelling and the Jewish com...against the Jewish commerce. They had signs. They picketed the Jewish stores, Don't buy from Jews. There was...

So there was, there was a boycott of your store?

A boycott, yeah.

And did...

But there were not too many Polish stores, anyway, in our little town. Most of the commerce was in Jewish hands.

So in your, in your father's store...


Did, did he suffer from that? I mean, did, did the business suffer?

No, not, not really, because to tell you--they, they didn't have no other place where to buy. But they, they, they had a whole attitude. It was--physically, you saw it. It was weird. It, it--you, you, you touched it every, every single day. They, they called us--I'll tell you--I'll give you another example. On Christmas and Easter, we had to be shut in the house, not go outside, because they were so irate. In the, in the churches they used to preach to them and tell them that the Jews killed Jesus. They used to come and they were, they were, they were ready to kill the Jews.

In particular on the holidays?

In--on these particular holidays, because, you know, this is the celebration of his birth and of when he was crucified. Yeah.

Did anyone ever talk about this in your house?

Of course, all the time.

What kinds of conversations?

What kind of conversation about the, about how the goyim are bad to us, how hard it is to live in this land. But you see, we, we didn't no, have no, we had no other choice. My father vowed that when the children will grow up he's going to send them away to another country, not to uh, uh, stay in Poland.

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