Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

John Mandel - May 26, 1981


Can you tell me, what was your father's occupation?

My father had a small uh, factory uh, he was uh, he had a wood turning uh, shop. Approximately oh, eight--ten employees. And uh, basically that was his occupation.

What was the size of your family?

We were a family of uh, six children uh, and of course parents and, plus many immediate members uh, such as cousins, aunts, and uncles and grandparents. We, we were quite a sizeable family. And um, we s...we um, we survived um, my father, my brother, myself. And uh, we also have uh, four cousins that uh, survived, that are living here in the states.

You lost four members of your immediate family?

Avi...Yes, I lost, I lost my mother uh, three brothers and a sister.

Can you describe your household? What was your family life like?

Um, we have a very, very close happy family. Uh, it was um, an Orthodox family and in Europe the, the place where we come from everybody was of the Orthodox uh, branch. And uh, we were very close-knit. We uh, we all got our education. Um, I um, went to work when I was fourteen years old. I went to work first from--in, in my father's shop. And later I went to work for my uncle who was, who had a dental laboratory and I became a dental technician.

And can you describe your family life?

Well again, it was a very, very happy family. We were uh, we were quite uh, considered in our particular community as of uh, oh, middle class. And uh, except with the depression and I mean, you know, of course the Great Depression was here in this country, we, we also had a depression in Europe at which time we, we had to uh, go through some uh, pretty bad times, but other than that we were very comfortable.

© Board of Regents University of Michigan-Dearborn