Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Benjamin Fisk - November 8, 1982

Life Before the War

Okay, um, what was your home like? Your...

Well, you know, ??? you know, well, not too bad. You know, we had to make a living too, you know, there were a lot of poor people in Poland, lots of poor people. And I had some friends and I used to take them and give them something to eat, but food was no, no problem in our house, you know, because everybody was working. We had a dairy farm, you know, so food was no problem. We were selling milk. There was always leftover milk. So we had cheese, we had milk, we had cream, you know, and we were giving milk to the store you know, like uh, you know, so we were taking bread, you know. The baker was buying milk too you know to get rid of the bread. Everything was caught up by this, you know. And on top of that everybody was working.

Did you father, was he a dairy farmer--was that what he did for a living?

Well, he used to before I was born you know, they used to live in the country. This was, they used to live in the country. But you know then, then, then, this was before--after Poland became independent see. And there was a lot of talk about that so they moved away and they came to Sosnowiec, you know. As a matter of fact there are some people, some people you know, they remember when we came--not we--when my parents came to Sosnowiec. They remember. There was an old man here, they went to Florida, they live in Florida now. He said, "I talked to him, you know," because my sister went with his brother to school--the one that lives in France. So he told me that he remembers, you know, when my father came with my family, you know, to Sosnowiec. Well, I lived here and they were people lived in the next, next building to us, you know, I had ??? but they went to school together. You know, matter of fact I lived where the Jewish public school was in the building. You know, building seven, five, seven, nine--we lived in nine, five was a public school center. Seven was a public school, you know, but nine was, you know, the people living in between, you know, the second floor and they had you know school classes, you know.

And you go to the...

I lived in the same building and there was a lumber yard, you know, and we had--there was horses, they had blacksmith, you know, there was a guy with uh, making wheels, you know, the whole business. We had the cows over there, a shop over there, you know uh, you know, they were making doors and windows and cabinets, you know, big--like a factory, you know, and there was a school, you know. The same, you know, where we live.


You know, maybe they house maybe there must have been at least seven, eight hundred, a thousand children just from the house--from the three big apartment buildings, you know. There were a lot of Jewish children--some Gentiles, not too many. The Gentiles, you know, took care of the buildings. They were mostly Jewish neighborhoods, you know.

How large was the town?


How large was Sosnowiec? How many people?

Like uh, quarter of a million people--250,000, and there were about 40,000 Jewish people, you know, in Sosnowiec, yeah.

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