Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Ruth Kent - May 4, 1982

Family Workers and Extended Family

The people who worked um, for your father the man who worked for your father and the housekeeper...

No, Władek was not Jewish he was the main help and always there sort of I don't, I don't know, I don't know if he lived or not if he did, he lived down in the basement in the bakery. But he would join us for dinner and the maid no uh, uh I remember one maid though we went to a wedding and I went with my parents she might have been Jewish from a very small town but most of the housekeepers that worked were not Jewish they were from the country.

Did you ever feel any anti-Semitism from them?

With the maid?


No they were extremely ignorant. They would teach me dirty songs and I loved to sing them. 'Cause I didn't really know the meaning of it. No, uh, they were sort of uh, came from farms and they were very happy. The mother was very happy to get rid of a daughter like this and she had a good life with us and then once she met the man who distributed the uh, drinking water she would make contact with him and that's how they would marry. She would find anyone or the uh, um, we had uh, like a janitors or his children and that's how they would socialize this was uh, 'cause she lived in and she didn't go back to her little town very often.

It, it, it's a large family then in the house. Did you have an extended family that lived in the city or, or in small towns; your mother's family or your father's family?

You mean like, yes, my father had uh, oh how many people, he had uh, uh, Yoel he had a lot of brothers that came from a large family, ??? oh, I really don't remember all but he had at least uh, four brothers and he had a sister who lived in a small town, she married and she lived in a small town and her children would come and sometimes eat with us when they worked in the city. Uh, my mother had one sister and uh, she had uh, one son who was a little bit older than I am but we were very, very dear friends and he again, spent a lot of time at our home because he was the only child and uh, we always had a lot of children in our home so he would rather stay with us than stay home alone.

This was the sister who was divorced?

No, this was my mother's only sister. The lady who was divorced was my mother's aunt, my mother's sister, sister--my great aunt.

Um, about how many do you think in the extended family?

Oh, I am sure there were uh, maybe fifty, sixty people. Um, I had one uncle my father's youngest brother had nine children, nine children, yes.

He also lived in Łódź?

He lived in Łódź and he lived in Balut which was the part that later on became the ghetto. And we had the biggest charge. Saturday night sometimes we would, my parents would hire Drashka and they would say--Drashka again horses and a carriage. And we would, after uh, they lit the cand... the candles were off, already it wasn't Shabbat anymore. But we opened the bakery and we had to do some selling, it's Saturday night. And after that we would take the carriage and go not our own again we would pay for this and go down and visit our uncles. Most all of my father's family including ??? and ??? and some of his children are here uh, lived in that part of the city. And on the way to their home I would try my own mind remember, try to remember nine names of these children and it was not an easy task. But the oldest was uh, maybe a couple years older than I was, the oldest child out of nine children, yes. And I met up with her and uh, I met my uncle after the war and not one child survived he did and his mother-- when nine children in one family--she was with me in one place her name was Frida. I tried to help her but something happened with her knee and they would, they took her away to the hospital.

Do you have any idea how many were lost in the war?

I'm sorry?

Of the fifty, of the fifty or so?

How many? I would say there's only left uh, uh, three on my father's side uh, three uh, six, maybe about uh, uh, not even ten uh, were saved, the children, were saved out of a family of sixty maybe seventy people this is our immediate, I'm talking about the immediate family. My father's brothers and he had one sister. In... incidentally, she married a man by the same name Weintraub was such a coincidence so she never had to change her maiden name because her husband's name was Weintraub. And they had a lot of children too but they lived in a small city and I don't remember how many and I don't think anyone survived there but my cousin Yoel's children survived Franka, Mala, and Rosa and another uncle whose children survived three daughters and a boy. One lives in Sweden, one is in Israel and one here and one is I think in uh, somebody in Pittsburgh.

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