Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Lily Fenster - November 8 & 10, 1994


I came home...

Was she Jewish...

Yeah, she was Jewish--Beishtoff but they were more, I mean, the father was, went dancing and they was from the higher class, but she was very dumb at school and I was bright and I used to do her lessons you know, just that she gave me a piece of cookie or something. So, she wants to, "Zee zogt az zee vet mir machn traif?" She knew the way I felt. I was from a religious upbringing and I used to make bruchas before I went to bed. You know, the way we were taught like that and we never had to, I mean, not other, we didn't know any other way like. Yom Kipper. My God, if you didn't fast. Fast, you just, it was a sin. I mean, you couldn't live with yourself. The conscience bothered you tremendously. So, I came back to my grandma and I said, "You know what, Bobe? Reisel made me traif." "Vos hot zee tsu dir getohn?" So, "She gave me a wursht with some cream in my mouth and I felt terrible. I spit it out." So when I came back she says, "You know what, mein kind? I'm going to kosher your mouth." I said, "Bobe grandma how you going to kosher my mouth?" She says, "Ich vell arinelaygn a shtayndeleh. Es vet mich brenen. No, me vet nemen zaltz mit vasser. Ich vel oisrinsen dos moil, yestu shoin zein kosher." So she made me feel much better.

Explain in English what she did to you.

She, she said she's going to make me kosher like, put a little--but in Europe, we didn't have enough dishes for Passover, so we used to kosher them with a stein. I remember, to make it kosher. You don't know? You know that?

With a stone you mean?

Yeah, they ??? up. They make hot stone. And they put it in the pot and it was shushed around like a steam and that made it was kosher for Passover. Farshtayst du? So she said she's going to kosher up my mouth the same thing. But, unfortunately, she couldn't take a stone and put in my mouth and burn me, so she took some salt water and rinsed my mouth so it mean I was kosher. And I shouldn't worry. It was a psychological thing in my head, because I felt very guilty. From then on, I did nothing ate at that girlfriend of mine, because I didn't trust her. It was a story. Before the war, what could I remember?

You went to school, in public?

I went to a Polish school, yeah. We each had to go you know, you know and for Jewish religious, I used to go to another school, because I used to love the Jewish history, so they send me to a Jewish school, because if you live in a certain area, you belong to certain schools, you know what I mean? After Okopowa I went there. I went to see it when I was in Warsaw, but it's not the same.

What is it called?

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