Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Bernard Hirsch - June 29, 1982


Did you um, encounter anti-Semitism before the war?

How I should say this? In our, in our town, people they were uh, when they saw us--the youngsters, they said, "Jew, Jew." Or I wouldn't say that they were anti-Semitic. They didn't know, they didn't know when somebody would ask them, "What is anti-Semitism?" They didn't know. They just--another was screaming, "Jew," so he was, "Zhid, Zhid," this is uh, in, in Cze...in Slavish, "Zhid" like when you say here a Jew.


The same way. Or if they didn't know a different between Gentile, except that my father was wearing a, a beard. So they knew that he's a Jew. But otherwise between uh, the youngsters they didn't know that which one is the Jew and which one is the Gentile.

Did it affect your father's business?

No. My father was a big man in town. He was everything. He was the lawyer, he was the mayor. When somebody wanted a divorce they came to my father ask advice. When somebody want to get married they came to my uh, father to ask uh, advice what he should do. Or if they had problems or they had--they didn't go--before they went to a lawyer, first they came to ask him the question what they should do.

Are you talking about Gentiles coming to him?

Gentiles, yeah.

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