Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

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


Tell me about your mother. What was she like?

She was wonderful, wonderful woman. You know things you remember, little things like that. In summer, when I went to cheder, you know and she brought me food and drink and you know like, like, like it would be now. It still sticks in my mind that she was wonderful for the children, to take care of the kids. And, and I was the youngest one, it was cheder and she brought eggs because it was quite a few hours. And cheder she brought between lunch, she brought me food. So this--those things you don't forget. Sweet, wonderful woman. Uh, and that time, you know, parent, my mother used to work hard at time, not like now. Washing and everything was very hard. You had to--even water you had to carry in, you know, from the market. Especially, wasn't, it was, life was not, it was not so easy. But they did it and they didn't mind anything, they did it with love.

Do you remember anything else about her?

Beg your pardon?

Anything else about her?

Yeah, I remember she was a beautiful woman too. Dark hair. Beautiful dark hair. And the main, the main thing was like that, like a mother was a, how she made us feel very, very, very good at--in a family together and the food especially was a very good cook too. And I always feel the taste of it eh, the way that the food was wonderful. And uh, and for special holidays and comes a holiday it really takes me down because the eh, Friday night the preparing everything, the challahs and the lighting the candles and you know the holidays it was wonderful. It was like, it felt like, it was looking forward to see that holiday coming. And she made it and the parents made the family exciting to be together.

She ran the household.

She ran the household, yeah.

You said last week you told me she baked challahs on...

Yeah, yeah and, and uh.

...on Shabbos. What else did she do?

Aside that she helped out--we had uh, my father was uh, selling shoes in, in market in Ostrowiec and, and we, the shoes were brought, my father brought it from Warsaw, capital. And, and then, it was--that was twice a week, it was market. So my mother helped out too in selling the shoes. And I was a little boy, I, I was interested too. When I came home from school before I went to cheder, I helped out eh, helped out father.

Do you have any other particular memories of any? She--you said she brought you food. You remember that clearly, she would bring you food at cheder. Anything else that you remember? Specific events? Sticks in your mind.

Sticks in my mind I was a kid in, in, in summertime. I, I was sitting in the front of where I was born. And sitting in the summertime I remember I was sitting, she was covering, I was, she was cuddle, she was cuddling me, I was the youngest little child. And we looked out and the sky was red because of the factory in Ostrowiec and suddenly I could see the sky from that, that. And I was sitting with them coming and looking outside. And this eh, I'll never forget it, you know.

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