Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Edith Kozlowski - August 19, 2010

Working in the Ghetto


And my friend that went to school with me, Hannah Goldberg uh, got to know the German Meister from the clothing department.


And she asked if she can bring a girlfriend to work there. This was just a couple miles from the place that we lived at. We had to walk to work.


She figured sewing on buttons, I'll be able to. So she did ask him. His name was Weitzman.

Was he SS?


Or was he, a civilian...

Yeah, yeah, SS.


Yeah. Uh, and I came to work there were big tables, women were sitting and sewing on the buttons. Maybe thirty--forty women at one table, plenty of tables and sewing machines.


Very huge place. And he set me down to sew on buttons. Five minutes later he came to me and says, we need somebody at a machine to patch uniforms. I got cold feet. I said Meister, I know how to sew--I did sew--I did use a sewing machine before, but not an electric one. So if you'll show me how to do it, I'm sure it won't take me long to learn it.

Mm-hm. What was his reaction?

Yeah, he did show me how. It didn't take me long from fear. I learned it real fast, I never used the sewing machine.


And he told the girls in front of me and back of me in case I need help. There happened to be non-Jewish girls in back of me that were getting paid--just worked there. Uh, and I worked there.

How long did you work there for?

I would say roughly [pause], couldn't be a year--maybe a year, I don't know. But, naturally my parents wouldn't leave the store. But I asked my sister should come, I should have my sisters here. They said if we'll work maybe we'll save the family, maybe that's where we'll stay. We didn't know about deportation. So my youngest sister came first, and she went to the straw department. Whatever they did in the straw department, I don't remember.

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