Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Simon Goldman - June 6, 2003

Pretending to be Polish

So when you were on this farm, you must have worked with other, with Poles.

Oh yes, yes.

And what did you tell them?

I told them that I'm an orphan from Warsaw. And with my name, my, my looks, you know I looked--and I could read better than they can. I could speak better than the farmers. You know, the farmers is a different Polish.


But as my, little education that I had. And I was hanging out with the Polish kids before the, the, before the war, so my language grip was pretty good.

What about religion?

Religion, well, that's a new story. Religion, for a while I got away without going to anyplace, to church. After, after awhile they said you got to go too. After one year, they says, you got to go too. Okay? Confession, communion, you know, so you got to go to church. Well, I didn't got to church in the beginning because I didn't have any clothes. The only thing they was walking around is their blue jeans, was home made blue jeans there on the farm. But my brother once start to send me clothes, then I, then I, sent, he sent me a suit, you know, he sent me some shoes and clothes from Germany. Then they said, oh, you got to go to church. And that time it scared me, you know, because what do I know about church? But I was, I was reading the Bible that they had laying around there so that, that sounded familiar, it's pretty close to the Jewish Bible, you know. Whatever I learned before the war, you know, it was pretty close, so. But they, one day they said, well... It was Easter. Easter, they call it Easter. You gotta go too. Confession, to communion and so I went to church with the rest of them, I said, what do I do know. And uh, well, I just talked to myself, I'll play it by ear. I went into church and whatever the people were doing there, I followed the same thing. I went there before the priest for confession and said I have nothing to confess and I went down to the line followed everybody else for communion. They gave me that, uh...

The wafer.

...yeah, and took that and swallowed around.

When you went into the confessional what did you say?

Well when the priest asked me if I did any sins, I said no.

So you didn't say the formula, "Forgive me father for I have sinned" or anything like that.

No, it just that, I never sinned so there's nothing to forgive, you know. He figured I'm a prefect kid.

You went to communion and you crossed yourself and...

Oh yes, that, that, that was easy. That I had to do every evening cross myself when you go to bed, you know. I slept the whole right on the farm, right on a bench with a, on a straw, on a wooden bench and straw inside the house.

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