Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Manya Auster Feldman - August 11, 1998

The Soviet Occupation

And how did that manifest itself? Did the, did the Soviet military just march into your town, or what...

Yes. And trucks coming in and singing songs and saying, You're fin...finally your free from the Polish, you know, discrimination and all this.

Well, how did you, how did you and your parents, say, feel about that?

The Russians coming?

Yeah, I mean, was it...

It was, it was an entirely different ball game, entirely different. There was no comm...private commerce. Under the Polish regime we had our store. We, we could do business, but not under the Russians anymore. Everything was confiscated.

So everything was socialized...

Everything was government. Yeah, it was socialized. But for the youth it was good. We, we were able to continue our education and, and we were able to get jobs. We were able to learn trades. Under the Russians, it was--in this sense, it was better than under the P...Polish regime.

And was there anti-Semitism still?

Yes, sort of suppressed. You didn't feel it, but--you didn't see it but you felt it. But they had um, they had a rule against the--you--they were not--whoever said derogatory names, they could go to jail. So the--outwardly the, the regime, the, the, the Stalin regime did not allow any anti-Semitism, any anti-anything. Anti-America, yes, yeah.

And, and so school changed as well?

School changed, yes.

Did you still go to religious school?

No. They forbade that completely. They, the--right after they came in they were, they allowed us to have a Yiddish school. But uh, it lasted for a very short while, maybe for a half a year. Then they converted it, everything into uh, to Russian.

To Russian.

But education was on a very high level. It was very, very well--they, they taught very good.

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