Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Joseph Klaiman - May 4, 1982


May 4th 1982. This is Renee Wool, interviewing Joe Klaiman in Southfield, Michigan.

I want to start with some questions--some pre-war questions about where you were born, your family, what life was like, also about your schooling. Maybe you remember certain things about your schooling um, about your home situation. Okay.

I'm Joseph Klaiman, I was born in Łódź 1925 May the 20th. I had a family with three--with two little brothers. 'Til--when I was a little boy I went to school. I was a good student, I was a good sport.

What kind of school did you go to?

Public school, in a Jewish cheder.

And you went to a cheder?

Yeah, cheder. Then after that I uh, my mother, I had--my mother was a sick woman. And then when in 1939 when the war broke out, my mother told me and take my father to--went to, to Russia--we was very afraid for the Germans. We went to Russia, my father decided that he cannot live by him...by himself. We, we went back to pick up my mother and my two brothers.

Let me ask you, how did you get to Russia?

We, we went from our, from our city to the Bug, from Russ...in Russia was a Bug, we went over there and we smuggled through the border. The same way we came back.

Now this was in what year?

Nineteen thirty-nine, and almost the end of the 1939. That, that was October.

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