Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Ruth Kent - May 4, 1982

Early War Years

Fine. I, I'm going to ask you some general questions uh, could you tell me a little bit whatever you remember about your life in Łódź before the war.

Mm-hm. I do the best I can. Um, when the war broke out I was almost nine years old. And they, we were in the country. I should say my great aunt, my little brother and I and I think there might have been a housekeeper. And we were, it was like uh, I think it was the first of September. We were ready to come home to resume our school and there was no way, no transportation to get back to the city. We were on a uh, in a country and the name of the place was either Wiśniowa Góra or Lutomiersk one or the other, we used to go to both of these places. Because when my father was alive, incidentally he died a year before the war broke out, when my father was alive, my family owned a bakery and summertime uh, my father would go into the country and open a bakery there and we would always take our great aunt and our housekeeper and we would spend the summer there and we would open this bakery like first of May. I was always a good student and I would get out of school like a month ahead of time with my little brother. I don't want to get this thing tangled up. I did want to say about my parents. That...

There's time, we'll come back to it.

We had, okay. So we were caught in the country when we, when the Polish army was mobilizing. Hitler declared war on Poland at the time, I think it was September first or so and we were trying to get back to the city to go back to my mother. And uh, I--they took even all the horses, all the uh, wagons and the train was also taken by the soldiers and I don't really remember how my great aunt manipulated our transportation back to the city. But we did come back to the city uh, just before the uh, Germans marched into our city. So we did reunite with my mother.

You, you said you were in the country. Did, did you have a, a country home, is that?

We didn't own the home but like first of May every year um, my parents would uh, rent a home in the country like on a farm and we would rent a bakery and in other words we would have a business in the city and a business in the country. My mother would always stay behind in the city and my father and my great aunt uh, she would always come with us and a housekeeper. And my mother would always come for the weekend and this was the most beautiful part of our staying there we would always go to the train station and she always had the best of food little things that we liked and special things that she baked she was not a housekeeper she was a bright woman she was always in business but she was the best baker. And she would bring us gifts and it was just a delightful part of our life. Friday night we would run get dressed up in our best and run into the station and wait for our parents. And we would be coming back on a Drashka I remember a Drashka, like a carriage and horses. And it would be a lot of fun that's how we would spend a weekend because all week long she'd be in the city.

© Board of Regents University of Michigan-Dearborn