Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Nancy Fordonski - May 29, 1982

Jewish Community

Can you describe the community?

It was a small town. Almost most of, most of the people knew each other. If something, God forbid, if somebody was sick one was telling the next one to go there to see what's going on or to help out. Or there was a sick child in the family or there was somebody to take care of or if the mother didn't feel well and there was you know, there were other kids they were supposed to be sent to school or taken care of. So, the community was not too big. So many times it looked like it was really one big family. So that's why many times I think here, we live in a free country and it's so beautiful. We have a lot more than we could ever think to have in that small city in Złozew. And here, where we could live maybe in more you know, more love each other and more care for each other, but it's the opposite. That this, this--the small town in the old country was so gorgeous. It was so full of life and full of understanding. One cared for the other one. A neighbor wasn't just a neighbor. He was your friend. He was--you just had to go by and say hi and that hello wasn't you know, was just a hello. They could stop you and ask why you, oh, "What is it? Is everybody at home all right? Is everything okay?" Like they could detect right away there is something bothering you that you didn't stop. You just said hello, do you--and, and you were just going on. And you see, we had a big apartment building, apart...apartment building. And we had some good tenants. And we lived with them very close. But there was one special family that I was special close with them because their children were much older and I was seven years younger than the youngest son in their fa...family. So whenever I had the chance and whenever I came home from school, I used to run to their house because I was getting more attention there. At home my name was just Nadia. Because you know, when you have ten children in the house, usually parents don't like to make an exception. They didn't show that they love one child more than the other one. But when I came to that family, their name was Fried, and there were a few, two daughters and a few sons. So when I came over to them, "Oh, Nadia is here." So even if I had at home the best meal, let's say like noodles with, with chicken soup, with chicken and dessert and everything and there they were just cooking a plain uh, pea soup or barley soup or just potato soup, whatever, I couldn't wait that they should ask me over to the table you know, and I should sit and eat with them because I knew that they loved me so much and I was looking you know, for a little bit more attention than I was getting it at home. Because we were pretty busy you know, being brought up in such a religious hou...home. We were going to public school. Girls were going to public school a half a day. And we had a pub...a public school, there were Gentile and Jewish kids together. And in the afternoon, we had to go to beis yakov, this was a special school for girls. So the day was pretty busy.

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