Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Joseph Gringlas - January 14 & 22, March 18, 1993

Pre-War Life

The following is an interview with Mr. Joseph Gringlas at his home in Farmington Hills, Michigan on the morning of January 14, 1993. The interviewer is Sidney Bolkosky.

Uh, could you tell me your name please and where you're from?

My name is Joseph Gringlas and I am from Ostrowiec Swietokrzyski, Poland.

Tell me where is that near?

It's near Lublin and Karotz. Okay. There you are.

Um, tell me what you remember about life in Ostrowiec before the war. What was your family life like and life in the town?

The town before the war, we had uh, we had uh, like a business, shoe business selling in market. It was twice a week. And uh, that was our life like, life like from then, for my father in the shoe business.

How big was the town?

The town was about, about 32,000 people. It was about half--15,000 people was Jewish people. And where I live it was like close to the market. It's either like belo...like be--like uh, it was only Jews living there that you didn't see any Gentiles. But you see in, when they went to church, they come out of church, the church was right close to the market, we felt that, that we living, not the Jews not alone living. We living in--surrounded by enemies.

You felt that they were enemies? Was there anti-Semitism in Ostrowiec?

The anti-Semitism was very big in Poland. It was a long time anti-Semitism and before the war it was worse. They started telling, you shouldn't go to buy merchandise from the Jewish people and there was big plaque on the, on the streets hanged, shouldn't eh, should avoid--have any contact, any business with the Jewish people.

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