Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Nancy Fordonski - May 29, 1982

Religious Life

Okay. Can you describe a Shabbos in your home?

A Shabbos in our house was something special that will never and I hope that, that I will never forget in my life, because it was so beautiful. 'Til now, every Friday for sundown when I have to--when I light the candles, I have always the picture of my fa…family's Shabbos table. The way we get it together and how beautiful it was. The fa...my father, rest in peace, on the head table and the mother, beautiful dress. Now I come, like I said before, from an Orthodox family. My father had a reddish beard with a beautiful yarmulke on his head, dressed in that black special suit. My, my mother wore a sheitel, that means a wig. Beautiful dress. And all the kids got dressed up special for that Shabbos. It was, it was like a little holiday. But one Shabbos, one Friday night ended everything. This was the Friday, September the first when the war broke out. And because we lived so close to the German border, the German army marched in, in the city late--Friday late in the night. And just be...when my mother was lighting, lit the candles, we were supposed to sit down and have our Shabbos meal all together. We heard that the best thing would be if we leave the city because if the German army comes in and if they will find us, they will all destroy us. So that's how it was. We left the house and we were starting to run away. Until now, whenever I light the candles I have always the picture in front of my eyes how years ago before the war, before everything started, how beautiful it was for us to spend a Shabbos together, a Friday night together. There was always an open door for, for a stranger, for a, for a poor guy to come in. When my father went on Shabbos to the shul, to the synagogue. He always came home with somebody, because there were people you know, like in a small city, they were coming in. Strangers were uh, were passing to...town and they didn't have a place where to spend the Shabbos and to get a good meal. So my father used to come home with somebody. And there was always room for s...for another, for another person. And that stranger even we didn't know from where he was coming and who he was, he was always sitting with us at the table sharing the meal with us together and with bentshing, with everything. It was just--if I think about it, it's, it's like you see it in the movies. That's how gorgeous it was.

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