Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Sonia Nothman - January 4, 1983

Pre-War Life

Okay. Can you tell me something about your life in Chmielnik before the war started?

The life was very--it's, you cannot compare to here. Family--that was a very, very close--knit family. Sisters there, and...We have a business and we all worked. We went to school, to two schools, as a matter of fact. You have to go to a public school and you have to go to a religious school. Its' uh, I went uh, to two schools. Beis Yakov and later Che...a different school, Yardna. They used to, they used to learn our ???. My father wanted to be a teacher. If not for the war, who knows, maybe I would be a religious. We were very happy. We didn't have big homes like here, but it was a very happy life, when the war came.

What did your father do?

We have a store from wheats. You don't see stores like here. The farmers used to bring all kind of wheats to us and we took it to the mills. For flour, different uh, different wheats for horses to feed and all kinds. This we took to the mills and we brought back flour and we used to sell this.

Did your mother work there as well?

Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. Over there wasn't like here. You have a business here and live there. It's together, see. So we all helped, my brother and me when I got older. That's all. We didn't have any, like here to go out and learn to be somebody, 'cause it was a small town.

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