Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Joshua Fishman - July 13, 1982


The following interview with Joshua Fishman is being held on July 13, 1982 at his home in Detroit, Michigan. The interviewer is Arthur Kirsch.

Mr. Fishman, where--would you spell your name please?


Your full name?

Full name. Joshua, J-o-s-h-u-a, Fishman, F-i-s-h-m-a-n.

Okay, and where and when were you born?

I was born in Dombrowitza province of uh, Volhynia, Poland. Uh, that's uh, Western Ukraine, now it's Russia...

All right, uh...

...uh, August 18th, 1921.

All right, spell the name of your city if you can, as best you can.

Uh, Dombrowitza, uh, it was called in Polish. Uh, D-o-m-b-r-o-w-i-t-z-a. This is the spelling uh, the pronunciation. It was spelled differently in Polish because it's a different language.

Mm-hm. What was your father's occupation?

Uh, he was uh, eh, his business was uh, junk. Uh, it's not, it's not like junk here. It's most--it was a little metal too, but mostly rags and uh, eh, from linen uh, all kinds of uh, you know, after--from uh, from processing linen, everything what comes off the--this we used to buy too.

What was the size of your family?

We are seven children. Mother, father and seven children.

Aunts and uncles?

Excuse me?

Did you have any aunts and uncles, also?

Oh yeah.

Do you know how many?

Yeah uh, from my father's side uh, one, two, three, four, five. Five. Five uh, uncles, only uncles from my father's side. ??? Yeah, five uncles from my father's side, and uh, I had um, uh, it's included, from my mo...mother's side included two uncles which are here. Uh, and uh, there I had one, two uh, two aunts. Uh, they both passed away before the Holocaust. Uh, they lived in a different city. They lived in ???

Did this family live nearby?

Oh yeah, I had a third--one more uncle from my mother's side uh, who was killed. David was his name.

Did you all live near him?

Also ??? My father's side family was ???. It's in Polish ???.

Well, describe as best you can your household. Were you religious, did you have a religious family?

Yes. Uh, my father was very religious. He, he attended--he learned when--before marrying, he learned about a couple years or so in a yeshiva in Pinsk. And uh, my fa...my mother, she, of course, was also religious. My older brother and sister were not so religious. They--the last few years before the war, I was not as religious uh, either--I was religious. I was, I was from the uh, I wanted to show ??? that this was the youth for Mizrahi. Uh, but uh, not as religious as my father was. Now I am more religious. I am more like my father now--almost like my father than I used to be. Uh, during the war, I--from circumstances, I didn't practice much religion.


Circumstances. That was no...the time when I was away from home. And uh, after they killed everybody and uh, I was in the forest and then uh, after Germans were uh, defeated by the Russians. The Russians took me to the army. I was in Russia for about a year. Let's see, from--it was a year and few months. Four months or something.

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