Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Pauline Kleinberg - October 28, 1982

Religion and Politics in Pilica

Tell me a little bit about the town you lived in. How big was it? How many Juden?

Not too big, not too big. I, I wouldn't know the count. But we were all connected with the nearby city, Sosnowiec, which like, you see, like all uh, aunts and uncles were living in Sosnowiec. It's, it's like uh, Oberschlesien. Uh, have you heard of Katowice, Katowice? That's there. And uh, it was like, you know, everybody had somebody in, in, in Sosnowiec. Like, my grandmother was there, my uncle was there. We were there all the time, coming, going.

How far was that from your town?

It was like an hour and a half to go by uh, bus, city bus. Yeah.

How many synagogues in your town?

I don't remember. I was never part of the synagogues. But I remember Yom Kippur and my mother was going and it was women separate and men separate. I know where, where, where in the synagogue that my folks belonged to was also considered a little bit less Orthodox than the others. Because in Poland, you see the Jews were very Orthodox. My father was Conservative--my family--and it was considered, here I see there were super rabbis--to me they were super rabbis. You know, Shabbos was such a great deal. All the things you were not supposed to do on Shabbos. The store--the goys--neighbors, they knew. You could, you could see it in the street, because all the stores--all the activities stopped. Everything had stopped.

What were your father's or your family's political affiliations? Did they think about politics at all, like the Zionists or the Bund?

No, I think they were the Zionists. Because I, I, I can tell you from this, the pushkehs I have seen uh, at home. There was very like, you know, Keren Kayemet. So I do believe they were very much uh, Zionists.

Did you have any newspapers at the house?

Yeah, Jewish for...for...formats? What kind is it?

Husband: Formats.

Yeah, formats. And there was also a...another Jewish one in Polish. I don't know what it was called. You know in Polish.

Husband: Polska Gazette.

Polska Gazette, yeah, there was another one in Polish. Quite a few. I, I remember there was a beautiful library right across our street. It got Polish books--Yiddish. I, I wasn't too read, but Polish was--I di...I wasn't belong--I didn't belong to the library yet, I, I mean, I was with, with school. I mean, we--the books what I was taking--I personally--it was from school. The schools were beautiful. The schools, they--I see the respect to teachers and, and respect in the schooling was much nicer than I like it here. But it didn't last too long for me.

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