Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Joseph Klaiman - May 4, 1982

Views on Religion

How do you think the experience changed your attitudes towards--you mentioned that, you know, you're proud to be Jewish, but sometimes on the street, you know, you--if you don't have to, you don't want to disclose the information. How do you think the whole thing changed you? You know, you said in, in your home, in your early life, your father was religious somewhat but not real religious, but how do you think...


...how do you think the whole experience changed your view?

Didn't change my luck because I become--I came from a Jewish uh, background. I mean, if, if my father was not Jewish, he still was more Jewish like a religious man here. He still on Saturday he went to shul, he never--he was davening everyday. For us to be Jew it's still more like here to be a, a--to go to, to shul.

I mean how did it change your attitudes, you know, your attitudes...

To Judaism you're talking?

Jewish. Yeah. Your faith, your, your--you know.

Faith is just one thing. I, I was still religious. I mean, not so much religious from the home. After, after the war I felt what happened to us, if we are to God, why He--okay, He wants to punish people who didn't believe something. Well how to punish--to take children and to kill children and throw them out of a window. I couldn't understand that. I still don't understand it now. If I ask a rabbi how it's happened that God let children--born children to be killed. How is this happened? No? What can I say? Didn't cha...I mean, I'm not religious now. I'm a Jew and I'm always going to be a Jew and I'm proud to be a Jew myself. And if I go in and if somebody going to ask me what I am, I'm going to say I'm a Jew, but I am not going to be the one to, to tell 'em that I'm a, I am a Jew. I come home you know that you are Jew. There was no reason not to say yes. You was--you, you talking, it was, it was Jewish. And here it's a different life here.

In the ghetto--in the Łódź ghetto, did any of your friends escape?


Did any of your friends get away...


...or join any group? No?

No, not that I know.

Nothing at all.

No, I don't think so too many escaped from Łódź ghetto. Because it was a ghetto and we didn't have from--not from the Polish people, not from the outside. If you could have organization to work together it would be fine. The Polish people didn't want to help us. Now you talking...

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