Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Hannah Fisk - January 24, 1983

Religious Life

Did your um, were your parents very political? Did they have any political affiliations?

No, my parents were strictly Orthodox. My father was praying for the people. He was like a rabbi, you know? Shabbos, especially, I was very Orthodox. Saturday, I couldn't take a comb. I had to put on a babushka Friday. You know, to make my hair pretty. Nothing. And I had to be home. I had--I'm very good in Jewish, too. I went to cheder till I was eight years old and then he sent me to the public school. You know. I come from a very Orthodox home. My mother had a sheitel. They were not fanatic but they were very known people. When somebody was having difficult marriage or stuff like that, they always come to Abraham, and Abraham always try to smooth up everything. He was well known in Częstochowa. In one of the nicest synagogues, he was praying. Yom Kippur, he had about twelve boys for Kol Nidre and our own children, too. I was in it, too. I was, I remember I was about six years old, I put on a yarmulka with the little, with the little black suit, you know? And all my brothers, and we were singing with my father--Kol Nidre. Yeah, we were a very close, a very close family. We had great respect, especially for my father. My father never had to lay a hand on me. When he's only look at me, I knew what's going on. You know. It's not like you have to have respect for you--the kids have respect now for your parents. That was different in the old country. You have to respect the parents more.

Can you describe a Friday night for me?

Oh my God. With six brothers, it was so nice. My mother put, not my mother--my stepmother--put the candles on. And we were singing. My father came home from shul and I was looking forward to Friday night, to be honest with you. Although Shabbos, I couldn't do very much. I had to--only we walked, I mean, I had fun but I had to be back by uh, to say uh, the ??? and to, to listen to the uh, Havdalah. You know what's Havdalah. And uh, but we had a lot of fun. I was raised this way. Let's put it this way, you know, we didn't know anything other thing. I wouldn't go and ride a car Shabbos or a--do anything I couldn't do, you know. So, we really observed. We really were--knocked into us. See? We mind our own business. We had nice Gentile friends. I was--where I was going to school, I was going with Gentiles. And, uh, I was--used to make homework with them and everything and--you never knew it's going to come to something like that, you know. You understand each other, we were having fun with each other, you know, played ball with each other and we couldn't understand that something like this was possible.

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