Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Fred Ferber - September 11 & 25, 2001

Polish Catholics

It is here. Last time we talked, you mentioned something about religion and Polish Catholics and the, the difference between Passover and, and Easter at the same, same time. Do you remember when we talked about that?

Well, two, three things eh,, eh. Before the war well it came Christmas, and they have a special type of a holiday, January 6th or 7th, I forgot, they sing certain carols eh, like a kolendish, it's called in Polish, and in English it would be carols, the Christmas carols. And there was some, January 6th or 7th was a special type of a holiday, I forgot what. It was a Christian holiday. And the same thing as it was happening during eh, eh, Easter holidays. These people eh, were, got, many of these Chris...Polish people got dressed eh, in eh, different uniforms as, as the king or eh, eh, took on some of the historical, eh...

You mean in the Passion Play.

In the--something like that, but they came from house, they went from house to house begging money and they're saying the cross. And of, of course when they came to Jewish homes, you know, and, and when they came to Jewish homes, and, and they knew where the Jewish homes are, it, it was not just a question of eh, eh, not listening or uh, enjoying it. It, it was a question of eh, eh, come up with, with, with a gift for that or possibly being, being beaten up. It wasn't just a question of, eh. It was very, very scary when they used to go from house to house and sing those eh, Christian songs eh, because there was more at stake than just giving them a little uh, uh, uh, a little gift or a little money.

W...w...was Easter a particularly difficult time?

Especially in eh, small villages and small towns. Eh, I was lucky I was living in a larger town because the Christian, the, the priests had propagated a story, something totally stup...totally idiotic accor...they, they propagated a story that the Jewish people, in order to have the matza the proper way, they must have eh, Christian or children's blood uh, in, in it, so they're rounding up some Christian children and eh, mixing it, the blood with the matza. Which is, as I understand, they eh, these stories go around in, in Russia and, and all the Slavic countries, you know, eh. Which are scary, 'cause it propagates something which is so untrue and so far from the truth and also creates such a hatred and eh, unnecessary eh, eh, unnecessary hatred to...to...toward another religion, you know,, eh. I, I want to tell you, now being much older eh, eh, we have a problem wor...a religious problem worldwide. And all of a sudden at one time I realized--I don't think I told you that before--I realized that one should not really be against the people in Poland. One really shouldn't be against people anywhere if they are, if they are anti-Semites because it is not their fault. They, they were taught this since they were very little children by their mothers and grandmothers. And their mothers and grandmothers were taught by the priests. So the, the root of all the evil, of all the problem are the stories the, the, the teachings that come out of the Vatican, let's say. If the Vatican would express to their priests worldwide and say, you know, lay off a little bit some of those stories, these are not true stories. Don't propagate something that, that is not true and eh, there wouldn't be that hatred, that life would be different. Life would be different all over the world for all religion, for all religions, if, if there would be the good word coming in from eh, from the central agency of, of, the religious agency like Pope. And it's not a question just of the Pope alone, it's a question of the, of the fifty uh, uh, uh, what's the name of the people, uh...


Of the fifty cardinals, whatever, over there. Because popes come and go and the cardinals stay. Eh, they have tremendous power, eh. In, in the Christian religion, even though the Pope has got the supreme power, he can do whatever he wants, the truth is, in, in, in eh, the, the facts are that really the cardinals have eh, all the power. And if, if, and the pressure should be applied on cardinals to eh, to, to leave, to, to express to their priests that the teachings, to, to make it eh, to disallow the falsehoods. Then every religion should be proud of what they are. Religion, religions usually teach morality, eh. The, the problem comes when, when they eh, when they try to infringe of, on other religions. And, and, and that usually, the root problem is really from, from, from the central agencies of, of, of the, of the religions. Whether it's Muslims, whether it's Christians or Jewish people. Eh, it would be so much nicer to live together, and you mind your religion, I mind my religion and no one does anyone any harm. Eh, that's got nothing to do with this.

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