Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Stefa (Sarah) Sprecher Kupfer - July 24, 1987

Activities While in Hiding

You felt isolated?

Yes, often we talked about it that we, of course, didn't know about the concentration camps and the gas chambers and the stuff like that, we had no idea this existed...but we always felt that being in the ghetto, being with more people, being with others would be easier to survive, even to be hungry together is easier then just, we were very, very isolated. We didn't know who was alive and who was not and what was happening on the outside, we had the Polish paper every morning, but it didn't talk about the Jews. They didn't talk about much anyway. We were reading mostly the matrimonial pages in the back, my sister and I, at the age of four she knew how to read already. So, we would read the matrimonial pages.

You said your sister could read, she must have learned when she was in hiding...

She learned when she was about four to read.

What kinds of things did you do with your sister to keep occupied?

We, I used to make lists of songs that I used to know, and would sing in whispers. We would talk, and we would try to read, and that newspaper saved our sanity a little bit there was some writings of saints...our landlady was a very pious lady and she was subscribing to monthly magazines of saints, there was some cookbooks, there was a house doctor book, we read everything. Even the recipes, whenever a recipe called for preserves or fresh fruit or vegetables, we would say one day, maybe we'll live, maybe we will have a garden. Maybe we'll have trees, maybe we'll make preserves, maybe we'll be able to cook.

Do you have a favorite saint?

Saint Anthony. Yeah, I read his miracles. Mrs. Orlewska subscribed to this monthly magazine and that was all about St. Anthony of Podwa, and I read all about his miracles.

You told me once that when your mother left and didn't come back for a while, that you started to pray to anyone who would listen.

That's right. We stood in the window, first we counted the stars it was a starlit night it was so bright the moon was full and I thought, my God, if she walks, everybody will see her. You know, nobody looked. It took her longer to come back, maybe she had a little chat with Mrs. Orlewska, probably did. And we prayed, and I cried and I prayed first to my father, then to my heavenly father then to St. Anthony, too. And she came back. We prayed a lot.

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