Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Ruth Kent - August 7, 1984

Family Life Before War

Was the family uh, uh, a religious family?

Our family was not uh, what you call Orthodox uh, it was rather conservative and very traditional. My, my father's family was on the Orthodox side. My mother's was not. But uh, we would uh, attend the uh, synagogue regularly on Saturdays and Friday night we would have a beautiful dinner and my mother always had relatives for dinner and Saturday after the shul uh, synagogue, my father would always bring company for lunch. So...

Did you attend Polish school, public school?

I uh, I was deprived of an education at an early age. I had about two grades. I didn't...

Before the war, you mean?

Before the war, yeah.

What do you remember about um, uh, the theater that your mother used to go to or the movies or...

Oh, I remember uh, she would come home from the opera and she would uh, talk about Carmen and I knew all the excerpts from Carmen uh, Rigoletto uh, Madame Butterfly, I would uh, know all the songs, I could sing them. At a very early age I was introduced to that.

Was there Yiddish theater too?

There was a Yiddish--excuse me--there was a Yiddish theater and it was uh, excuse me, Jidon and Schumerher were the uh--I remember like in a dream--they were the main actors and my mother always had the front row, so she knew all the actors. But I don't remember going to a Yiddish theater, no I don't remember...

Um, you said you...

I go to the movies quite a bit.

Your were in a uh, you used to go on vacation, the children would go on vacations...


Where would you go?

Um, it was just right side, right out of Łódź uh, the other places like uh, Wisniowa Gora uh, Lutomiersk. These were just little uh, summer cottages like. And my uh, mother, my father would run the bakery there in the summer, when my father was alive. And my mother would stay in the city, she would take care of it. So, summer times we had two businesses.

This was not a purely Jewish place was it?

No, no, no, no. There was just a farm let's say, strictly farm country.

Did you have non-Jewish friends, acquaintances in the family?

Um, only uh, the janitor and uh, very few friends, close friends, no I would not call them friends. No, my family was strictly uh, associated with Jewish friend.

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