Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Sally Horwitz - June 18, 2007


How large was your family?

Oh that, I was about to tell you that. Uh, my family, we had my, my grandmother lived with us. My dad, my mom uh, we had four sisters and one little brother. And my bubby had nine children, one got killed in the first World War. And she prayed till she died, she always mentioned his name. Until my mother telled mommy why does bubby cry all, all the time ???. I mean, she went, "shh, shh--don't say anything, come here," you know. My, one of the kids got killed ???. Um, but otherwise they all lived except for two aunts who lived in Antoniówska, not too far from Radom, to the West, a little farther West. And he was a very well to do person. And so we went there a couple times on Shavuot or ???. Because um, he didn't have any children and my bubby's husband died very young. Because his--my sister told me, I never asked her because this was a taboo word, not to talk about anybody dead in front of bubby. Um, so my sister somehow found out that maybe she heard bubby speak or something, my older sister. That he got killed, he got killed because he had a horse and wagon, those years a horse and wagon, you know, of course he was called to the villages ???, whatever. And the horse was spooked, they tried to hold him back in front of the horse so that um, um, ???, I don't know how to say it in English, went into his heart and just died right away.


So if, anytime we got sick she run around to the cemetery and yelled at her husband.


I mean it, I mean, this was uh, what are you gonna do.

So you had a lot of aunts and uncles--you had aunts and uncles?

Lots of uncles, lots of cousins.

How many do you think that you have?

One of the, one of the uncles um, got married and he moved out East. And the rest went close by. They, the farthest away was uncle ??? which is past Radom. So we used to go there because he used to go to Warsaw so, and had a lot of, about, "bout four or five torah written. And he had um, a store a uh, what do you call the store you sell everything? Uh...

A general store.

A general store there. And they also had little, they had a big piece of land. So they had small, little cottages for when people would come in from Radom, from different places for the summer. And uh, then he had a lot of forest land, which the government was always fighting with him because they wanted to take it away. So that's why he used to go to Warsaw, he was always fighting with the government. So meanwhile, he uh, stayed there for awhile and he commissioned somebody to do the, the Torah. They wrote torahs there. While they were writing the Torahs my two aunts, I was wondering because who had visited with him sometimes. They were making their own designs. On the, on the velvet, you know, things, the outline, the outline, the, the, whatever you supposed to have on the curtain. And also for the cupboards of the thing. And they had spools, high. I was wondering what they were, silver and gold threads. But really, silver and gold threads. And they were sown with special needles and I used to watch what they were doing. Um, the surrounding villages, it had one big room where, this was there. Then on the side he had straw uh, mattresses, like pale--piled up all the way. So, I'm very curious what is that for. Uh, the villagers in the winter they came for Friday night services and then sometimes the snow was like, higher than the house, they couldn't go back home. So my aunt made sure she had big ???, so like in the winter and food. And someplace to sleep. So they slept on the floor, you know, on those straw things. And they had blankets piled up. And the same thing with the, with the Rosh Hashanah, I suppose um, Yom Kippur or something. And my bubby stayed there in the summer most of the summer she went out to visit there.

How, how many people do you think, including first cousins?

At least, at least, we figure each aunt, we were figuring out, my sister, more or less. Each uncle, there was only one who had two children...the rest, there were, there were either seven, six, eight, or more. We had an awful lot of cousins, I know that. And I'm not going to brag but they were all gorgeous people. They, they were gorgeous, gorgeous looking people. Uh, unbelievable, I mean uh, I had a little sister she was just beautiful, beautiful face, blonde hair with the big blue eyes, um...

What was her name?

Malka, out of everybody ???. Um, Stephanie it's made, her middle name. She took Shifra because my daughter's name is Esther Leah, Esther's my mom. Laika, I mean, Leah was my sister ???. So she took uh, the middle name, I mean, my sister's middle name, Shifra--Stephanie.

How, how many survived?

Uh, three of us. Uh, two older sisters and I. It was a miracle that we survived, it's unbelievable. Okay I'm gonna go back um, we, we didn't feel any, I can't remember being hungry or barefoot like they're saying or, everything was okay. We had a very lively house. Everybody came to the, to our house, because bubby was there. So my mom always had a big uh, ??? with uh, water, which was always boiling there, you know, coal stove type of a thing. Um...

Were you a religious family?

Um, my father wasn't, he was 'bout 6'4" and I think uh, he was a young man, they were young people. Everybody kept kosher. Shabbos was Shabbos, Friday was Friday, and uh, holidays were holidays. And uh, by, I don't know if he went to shul, they went to shtieble. They belonged to a shtieble. So what they did there, I don't know. Uh, it was in somebody's house and um, I know he knew, I mean uh, a lot of languages and he was very well versed.

What is did you speak at home?

Oh Polish and Yiddish.


Both, oh yeah.

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