Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

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

Religious Life

Let me take you back a little bit. I want to know more about your family.


Was it a religious family?

Yeah, my father was very religious. He wasn't fanatic religious, but religious.

Not--did he?

Kept holidays and Saturday not working.

Beard and payes, did he...

Beg your pardon?

Beard and payes?

A short beard.



No payes.

No, no, not like that, not like that.

Not, not Hasidic.

Not Hasidic, no.

Um, so, so you had a religious education...


...as well.


Tell me a typical day, you would, in your life when you were maybe fourteen years old, before the war started. Ten years old. You'd go to school and then you'd go to cheder after school?

Yeah, I was going to school from eight o'clock 'til about twelve--one o'clock and then came home, ate lunch and go to cheder 'til late evening. So it kept me busy all day long. Some days like we're off so I could play, play soccer and you know, like young boys playing around.

W...what was the Friday night like in your house?

Friday night was, was you knew that Saturday's coming. Lighting candles, my mother used to bake--my mother used to bake challahs and salt every time for Shabbos. And uh, it was good feeling you know. Like something changing from the week. It's really, we, but our house was never a religious house, not beca...I mean, but a, a Jewish house, not eh, I mean talking about, not fanatic, not like a Hasidish but was, we knew that, yeah.

Would you sing Zemirot and all that?

Yeah, I would sing songs and, and we a lot, in especially Saturday night my, I remember as a kid that my family went with other brothers and s...sister came together, we sing, we drink and, and felt, felt good about it, being in the family.

© Board of Regents University of Michigan-Dearborn