Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Emerich Grinbaum - October 3, 2000 & January 8, 2001


You went to, you went to, you went to parochial school, you went to...

No, that was a, a, a secular Hebrew school. Uh, which is...

That you went to.

Yes, that was a, a elementary, four, four years and then eight years gymnasium. I--and--we studied Hebrew practically, practically all day, this, all day subjects were taught in Hebrew. Mathematics, physics, everything.

So instead of public school, you went there.

Right, right. We--that was uh, uh, a very high level school. And we didn't have religious b...re...the only religious boys they were the, from the Mizrachi. Because the Mizrachi was the, the uh, religious Zionists, if you ???. So we didn't have children with payot you know, payes, you know. The only, th...those, those from Mizrachi, two, three children, but most of them secular. Although uh, we had Tanách you know, everyday. Then at that time be obliged to have uh, put kipas. Otherwise we could and we could not. And we had prayers and you know, and that was very, very Zionist and we uh, we studied Hebrew literature, Hebrew re...Israel, and sto...Jewish history better than most of the schools here in the United States, much more.

What language did you speak at home?

At home, Hungarian.


That's my mother tongue.

Not Ruthenian?

No, I think no--Ruthenian, neither Czech, no. We s...uh, we uh, okay, I'll tell you. In 1936, uh, I was six, I entered school, the elementary school. We started Hebrew. The first day we entered that school and the first sentence, Rak Evrit. No Hungarian, no Yiddish, no nothing. So after one year everybody was fluent, children was fluent in Hebrew.

Rak Evrit means only Hebrew.

Only Hebrew. And that's all we studied. And then until--in '38 be uh, so when I was in third grade, the Hun...Hungarian conquered that area. Uh, '38 November 10, and I tell you exactly. And before that we learned a little bit Czech and a little bit Ruthenian, very little in the school, elementary school. Later if, later people learned more, but I didn't manage to learn. When the Hungarian came there was only Hebrew and some Hungarian, of course, in the schools.

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