Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Nancy Fordonski - May 29, 1982

Conditions in Ghetto

Did they have any schools in the ghetto?

Yes. There were, there were gatherings. There were schools for children, but uh, there wasn't like you will say a, a school uh, a building that people go and gathered together. This we were afraid to. But there were kids like I had uh, I won't say no use for it, because it's never really, you can never say that you are enough educated, but if I had already finished high school, so it wasn't important for me you know, to try to learn, to go to you know, to search for more education. But the younger kids, yes. We were trying to teach them and there were pe...people you know, willing and volunteers that they helped people you know, to, to get a start that they should learn at least a little bit.

Was there any social interaction?

You see, the thing is like this. We were so much--first thing, we had to go in the morning to work and came home around five, six o'clock. And there was always something to help out you know, in the house, to do something for your parents. Like uh, when, when everything was nice and peaceful at home before the war, we had steady help. And here, being in Zdunska Wola, you couldn't dream about having help because you had to feed them and you had to give them, pay them. So when we came home from a day's work, everybody was trying to do something you know, or to wash the floor or to do dishes or to go, or we had to do some shopping, because even for the ration, rations you had to stay in long lines. And sometime it was taking up for hours you know, to do those things. And then it was clo...we had clo...to wash clothes. You still had a few friends that you could get together with them you know, sometime maybe for an hour or sometime on a Shabbos or uh, you met uh, people working. So you said, oh, maybe tonight you know, we'll try for an hour maybe to spend the time. But 'til you turned around, it was the time to be home because you were not supposed to walk around after dark. We're not supposed to be on the street because you risk your own life and it wasn't worth it you know, for that hour of pleasure or just uh, being together with somebody to get into trouble.

Was there religious practices in the ghetto?

What I know, most of the time my father, he should rest in peace, he davened, he prayed at home. So I really cannot say. Or there were like shuls or synagogues. There were people gathering, being together. Because I believe that uh, I don't think so there were any, because it was too dangerous. First of all, the Germans, the SS, they were against that the Jews should pray. And they were--and, and besides this, being together, they never let, let us, let pe...they never gave us a chance even that a few people should be together on the street, because they were always thinking that we are plotting something against them. So I'm positive there weren't any kind of uh, synagogues or shuls. Because if not my father would probably try sometime to go to, to daven with uh, with a minyan. That means when you daven with ten people, it's a, it's a bigger uh, mitzvah. Like, uh…

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