Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Marvin Kozlowski - August 28, 2002

Relations with Non-Jews

Do you remember any anti-Semitism in Radom?

Oh. There was nothing but anti-Semitism. I--there were just very few people that you could say were liberal.

So it was, it was everywhere.


Any, any, any particular specific instances that you remember about being directed at you?

Well, I'll tell you what, it'll come, it'll come back later probably as we go on. But, there was uh, some--most of 'em Polish kids, but a couple of 'em were Volksdeutsch I found out later on. And one of them was in the factory where I was working, munition factory. And I, when I was mistreated and beaten, badly, unconscious, he was one of the three or four people that, that uh, did the job for me. So, I didn't have to tell you.

And he went to school with you. You knew him before.

Yeah, I didn't go to the same class but we were mingling together. Yeah uh, they were al...they were, they were--how could they be close? The religion--the Christian religious changed uh, sort of since uh, the new Pope came into power. Years ago the Pope Pius XII, I think it was, he was a big anti-Semite himself. I hate to tell you that. They never want to admit--but there were so many things.

Uh, coming home from school, would anybody ever attack you, call you names?

Uh, not really, I tell you.

In school?

My father--yeah, in the school, oh, it would be, but we had a grocery and I had a bunch of kids, friends. A lot of them, I was the little guy. And the little guys usually were sitting closer to the front uh, rows. And they would throw a piece of paper or, or something like this at me or something. Sometimes the teacher ignored or pretended he didn't see it, you know. Like they're friends. But uh, I ate with those guys. I even had a sometimes a little bit of whiskey. You had to be them if you wanted to survive in this world. So I said to, you know, one of 'em was, Richard was maybe six feet tall. I was just maybe four. So I said, "Richard, if somebody bothers me I have to teach 'em a lesson because I can't take it anymore." So I went out and hit 'em between his face with my fist and he was bleeding all over. Today you do this, they take a gun and shoot you probably. But at that time, they sent us both home. We had to come with the parents. First we kneeled ??? we had to kneel both in the front because we had a fight. Then we're told to not come tomorrow without the parents. Came with the parents. And I told 'em the story. And everything was fine, okay, look. I didn't have any problems with it. I was a lucky guy.

So what did your parents say when you came home?

Nothing, nothing. Pa...parents didn't say. It's a different--the world today. Today you, years ago uh, you didn't like somebody, you beat them up, you were pals later, you said, sorry, I had a drink of whiskey with them. Today they take a gun and shoot you. Everybody has a gun and shoot you. That today's world. But that wasn't the case then. But they were not friends. They could have helped us even when we were hungry. They could have helped us. There were certain people at the entrance who were working on the ghetto. No, they washed their hands off. Now I'm not talking about exceptions, you know.


Very rarely.

© Board of Regents University of Michigan-Dearborn