Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Abraham Holcman - September 14, 1983


Did you have much contact with the Gentile community?

No, very little.

M-hm. Were you aware as a, as a kid of any anti-Semitism before the war?

Oh yeah. Yeah, lots of it.

How did, how did, how did, how did you as a kid become aware of that?

First of all, I lived in this particular building, they had a grocery store. You had other stores too, but this particular grocery store. And as I mentioned before, fifty families were Jewish and one Gentile, the janitor. Now, and I saw one day a couple of Gentiles standing in, in front of the store and with a sign saying don't buy, it's a Jew ??? That means don't buy um, it's a Jew. Now here is a Jewish neighborhood, all the, all the Jews. Now that's a big, a big chutzpah, like we say, coming in, in a Jewish neighborhood, putting up a sign like that. That was the first thing I noticed...

As a kid.

As a kid.

Do you remember how old you were or when that might have happened?

Uh, that must have been when I was four or five years old when I noticed it. It must have been uh, before.

Were there, were there any other things that you noticed like that?

Yeah, a similar thing was uh, in uh, the third of May, which was a holiday in Poland and um, I've been told, parents and grandparents, everybody to stay off the street because the uh, uh, they call it Endekes, which is a fascist, really, organization. So we, we stayed off the street uh, the third of May.

Did you hear...

There was something uh, going on, something.

Did you ever hear when you were a kid of any friends or relatives that uh, didn't stay off the street and ran into problems?

Yeah, yeah, sure. Uh, my father come home from work uh, not particular in May, but a lot of time he came off from work it was uh, he had to walk around different streets because uh, Gentiles were there with knives and sticks and whatever.

So, so you couldn't go through certain neighborhoods.

No, the same neighborhood we lived all our lives, but uh, certain times uh, you, you see a bunch of uh, in the corner or whatever, so we had to go around. Everybody knew that. So, you walked around three or four miles.

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