Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Herman Marczak - May 12, 1982


Okay uh, can you tell me something about uh, your family life, your--how many children were in your family?

Uh, we were three children.

And what number were you in the family?

I was the oldest.


Yeah. And we were a large family. If you consider my name which is strictly Polish, we must have been--lived in Poland for a very, very long, a very long period of time.


You know, we were a large family, but we were three children. I had a brother and a sister. My father died by accident when he was very young, and my mother brought us up.

By herself.

Until the war, yeah.

What did she do?

She worked in a factory--a textile factory.

Yes, there were a lot of textile factories.

Yeah, yeah. We got some support from the family, we got some support, my mother had four uncles in United States at that time.


So we...

And they helped you out?

They helped us out. We didn't, we didn't know particular from poverty or things like this. We, we felt that we brought up in a--under very normal circumstance.

Mm-hm. Was there uh, someone to watch the children while your mother worked?

Oh, she had a uh, a, she had a, uh, a daughter of her, of her sister who stayed for quite a few years 'til we grew up.

Oh, one of her nieces stayed with you.

Yeah, yeah.

Were there uh, was there a large uh, aunts--a large extended family?

Oh yes, very extended family.

In uh, Złoczew?

In Zduńska Wola. No, all that was in Zduńska Wola. In Złoczew my mother just had one sister, that's all.

I see.

As far as I can remember, because I was grown up in just--brought up just one part of the family, in my father's side.

Mm, so, um...

A matter of fact, three years ago, a cousin of mine, I had a cousin my--from Israel, my--I had a uncle who's very old by now, he's eighty-two years old. My father's brother. And he survived the war during the camps and he went to Israel and he has a son from, a second marriage. He is a high officer in the Israeli Army. And he was here two, three years ago. And we were sitting here in the same place and he talked about, he wanted to know from where he comes, you know. And I was able to remember seventy-five people with the name Marczak.

No kidding.


Isn't that incredible? Did many of those people survive the war?

Nobody survived.


Just me and this cousin.

Out of that whole--what about the one--the niece of your mother that came to stay with you?

Nobody. From that side of the family, to my knowledge, nobody survived.

What about your mother? This--you're talking about your father's side of the family now...


...what about your mother's side?

That's what I say. My mother's side of the family line, I haven't got no knowledge of anybody survived.

So in other words, from both sides of the family just you and this uncle survived?


Must have been much over a hundred people then.

I couldn't remember--said, I, I, I just tried to just, you know, just for the fact--just stating a fact, I remember seventy-five with our family name.

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