Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Nathan Nothman - November 30, 1982

Blood Libels

Did your family have any uh, political affiliations that you...

We belonged to organization--I was still very young. We belonged to Maccabee, that was the uh, soccer team where they play. We belonged to the uh, organization--Jewish organization, we sing, we dance but we're talking now eleven, eleven years old--twelve years old, it's very young, very, very young. So we belonged it, but 1936, '37 it was already done by, by the Jewish, you know, the Jewish are dirty, don't buy meat--by, by non-Jews, you know, when--and it was starting it, but there was no riot. There was no riot. There was no fighting. But, like you say, don't, don't go there because the Jews are dirty, the Jews are loud, and the Jews are this and the Jews are this, and the--I mean, they just--they used to have a poster on the Jews, like Jews sloppy, you know, all the thing, you know, everything running from his nose. But we ignored it, because we know that's not true. But I do remember, I would bring that, that steak knife before Passover--I cannot remember which year was there--a Jewish boy--a non-Jewish boy--excuse me--a non-Jewish boy disappeared about five days, six days before the war--before the Passover. So I remember uh, in the Passover and they claimed that Jews killed the boy, drained the blood and make matzah from it. So I wanted, I was a person that I didn't, never stand behind. I liked to go forward and I will, I always never let myself get hit. I always protect myself. Because we're from the town, we know what that is, we understand. You cannot be underdog; you're supposed to protect yourself. So I went to that friend of mine--I had a lot of friends, too, you know, living next door--Gentiles friends--I said, "Are you believing that?" "Oh sure, my priest told me that." So I brought that matzah--a little bit, and I said, "This is the bread we're calling--no soul, no nothing in it. Do you think if I will know that this is any kind of blood--not human, would I eat?" And I start to eating it. And he look at me, I said, "Taste it, look," I said, "Taste it, don't worry about it, it's nothing wrong with it. It just pure." I took him and I show him how the people work. It's only flour, but this is--it's a tradition, nothing else. So he ate. And he got to know it. But his father found out that he ate. Ah! He's going--I said, "There's nothing wrong. It's, you know, if I will know--you know me--if I will know any kind of blood is in it--even if it's animal blood or anything, would I eat? Would my father eat? Would my fa...would my mother or anybody would eat? That's just pure nonsense." So that's what I brought my friends together. And uh, other times, we were not rich, we were average. So when my mother baked cake or something like that I stole a little bit of cake from them, and I give my friends. And I said, "Listen"--his name is Tanek, ??? you know, Polish name--I said, "Have a piece of uh, cake or challah a little bit," and they like it--they eat it. I said, "Well look, if I give you something it's clean, it's beautiful. There's no blood. There's no--all the blood, but flour." Really flour, I mean, that's what our earth give us--that's what we eat. So I persuade them, but I don't think so. They really did in their mind they believe it, that uh, because when the priest uh, tell something, so they believe it.

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