Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Stefa (Sarah) Sprecher Kupfer - July 24, 1987

Death of Father

How did you find out about that?

Somebody escaped and came back and told. Then my mother went to look and ...I think she recognized some clothes or whatever, but when she came back she didn't talk about it. Only my grandmother came and said, "you can start crying now, you don't have a father anymore." And I, didn't want to believe her, I still didn't believe for years and years later, I always looked, even after the war when there was a crowd, I always looked I thought maybe I'll see a resemblance, maybe it wasn't true, there were rumors from the first World War that people came back after 20 years, after 30 years. I thought, you know, you never know but I was fooling myself, I wanted to believe it.

What town was he killed in?

Vszczyki Dolne.

How far was that from Sanok?

I don't know in kilometers, but it wasn't too far.

And your mother never spoke of this?

No. She never spoke and we never asked her. I guess it was too painful.

They had a special relationship?

My parents had a special relationship. My parents were in love for ten years before they were allowed to get married. My father had an older sister who needed to get married first. So, they had to wait. And they were always holding hands; it was really a special, special, special relationship.

Did your father and you also have a special relationship, do you think?

I think so. I think so; he was an extremely gentle person. And when I was sick with Typhoid fever, and I had all kinds of boils on my body, he was the one that would change the dressings, and he was the one that would bathe me, he was really special. He would even pull a loose tooth that I had and I didn't even know he did it. You know when you lose your first teeth.

How did your mother continue then after that?

My mother was forced to open the store and be in it. Germans needed hardware and they would come from time to time, I don't know how often, twice a week or three times a week, and they would take whatever they needed. Everything was properly written down; no payment was ever made, of course. But they even forced her to open the store once on Shabbat and there was no choice, she had to go into the City and open the store which to her was worse than giving them the merchandise is to break the Shabbat.

Did she talk to you about any of this...what the prospects were for...?

No, it was just, you know at the age of ten, if a war starts, you grow up in such a hurry that you are not a child anymore. I really didn't have a childhood; I didn't even have a youth. Because at the age of ten, I became a mother to my younger sister, and everything that was going on, you don't have to tell it to the children, they know it, they sense it, you just sense it and your ears are always open and you listen and the grownups talk and you know it is there and you don't need to be told.

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