Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Benjamin Fisk - November 8, 1982

Religious Life

Okay, okay. How many synagogues were there?



Yeah, a small, small town you know, maybe eight, ten thousand people. But they didn't live in town, they lived outside, you know.

Sosnowiec, you said was a large Jewish community


You said...

Oh yes, oh yes it was a tremendous Jewish community you know, 40,000 Jews, you know. That's a lot of Jewish people yeah.

How many synagogues would you say were in your neighborhood?

Uh, there was uh, one main synagogue on the, you know, on the Dekerta Street, you know, they had that there. Then they had another two, three blocks, you know, they had people meet--met, you know, in their houses, you know. They had, you know, prayer all over here. It isn't like here. People didn't have money to put up big synagogues like over here with millions and millions of dollars, you know.

Was your family uh, Orthodox? Were they very observant?

All Jewish people, you know, the older people, you know, the older ones. My father, if you give him a million dollars to eat a piece of pork, no way. Or my mother, you know. But during the war when things were really bad, you know, what my fathers see, he said, "There is no God." My father said it himself, you know, "There is nothing. I don't mind it that they're killing soldiers, you know, people--somebody picks up arms against the Germans." They were killing peo...children he said, you know, that weren't being born yet, you know, they weren't even born yet. He used to work in the hos...there she is. He used to work in the hospital, you know. He see them and he said there's nothing.

Wife: How do you do? [interruption in interview]

Uh, can you um, tell me if your family had any political affiliations? Were they...

Mmm, not that I remember.

Not the Bund or ???

They didn't have any time to think about politics, you know. They didn't have any time--everybody was busy making a living, you know. I never heard about uh, politics. They used to come out--they used to have elections, maybe city council--for the Jewish city council, not the uh, not the state for the Polish people. They used to come around. But not like now--Democrats or Republicans, there was no such thing, you know.

Wife: ??? [interruption in interview]

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