Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Nathan Nothman - November 30, 1982


I went once to a church--I want to find out if that's true, so I went in. But I didn't kneel, because I--to me, when I go to the church doesn't mean nothing that I, that I uh, have respe...not respect for my Judaism. I want to find out what's going on for myself. I don't want to be blind, I don't want to go just close my eyes and say, "Follow somebody, believe somebody." I want to see it. I want to go and see it myself. So I saw--I--so I heard from the priest. I mean, it's--let's, let's put it--there is no Pole--all Poles, even the good one--fractions, I mean fractions, who like us. They didn't like us. Why didn't like us? They think that we own the whole country, that we own everything. But we were poor. A lot of people were poor. Most of them were poor. Seventy-five percent working Jews day by day to make living. They only see the rich. But they didn't see the rich, rich non-Jewish where they have a lot of money--business. They didn't allow Jew to the government--they didn't allow Jew to high position, just, uh, there couldn't be a Jew policeman. Even a mail...a mailman. So to me it's uh, like I would say that, we have a--we had a comfortable life. And I remember I worked with my father as a plumber later on. And I remember he told me, "Remember it is a good trade." There were houses, they had bathrooms and toilets and this and this and this, and it's a good trade. So I went to work, you know, and I learned. That's what basically what's in Poland just go and learn. Didn't have enough education because late in 1938, '39 it was already...


...we couldn't go out because some Poles would go, "You a Jew," you know. They would say, "Are you a Jew?" you know. "Are you a dirty Pole?" You know, something like this. Are you this and this. But uh, if I was strong enough I stood and fight. I was wicked, I remember. If I had friends with me, we stood and fight. But there is no anti-Semitism, I mean riot I would say--somebody spoke, "Let's kill the Jews," I remember.

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