Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Henry Konstam - October 25, 1991

Pre-War Anti-Semitism

Was there any anti-Semitism that you remember?

Very much so.

Can you think of any specific example?

Well, first of all it was the universities. They had uh, buy from our own. Don't buy from uh, Jewish stores or something like that. It was in particularly the last years before the war. Uh, where the uh, the uh, uh, nationalism was so uh, ??? strongly then they uh, uh, Jewish boys and girls had a hard time getting into the universities. And uh, there were cases where they used to be beatings. You know, they used to uh, gang up on 'em and beat 'em, you know. Uh, and similar in Poland. It was always, strong. Fact is, I uh, would go back to Germany, I wouldn't go back to Poland. I feel so strongly. Uh, because when the war broke out, when people stayed in line for a loaf of bread and they, they were around, the uh, German soldiers were paroling the uh, patrolling the, the uh, the lines they should be orderly. They always, they try to point out that uh, that the people that stayed in line, there's a Juda.

The Poles would do this.

The Poles, yeah. Juda. And uh, so the, to pull them out of line or, or hurt them or so on. There were cases where the uh, where it was a decent uh, soldier and he did, hit the Pole for pointing out, you know. Because there was uh, uh, the uh, they lived off of Jews. Poles lived off of Jews. Practically every factory they worked in was Jewishly owned.

It was a big textile city, wasn't it?

Big textile city. And they always... Well, this is natural Pole to be anti-Semitic...

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