Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Michael Opas - [n.d.]


Can you talk about high school? Can you tell me about classes and--tell me about the school work.

Well, school was pretty much the same as they--like here. The same kind. We had uh, I was advanced, advan...I was in advanced classes. I took uh, my second--we had a compulsory--a second language. I took German for a second language, because there were a choice of French or German. I took German because in my hometown Łódź there were a lot of German people. So it was easier for me to communicate with Germans. I had friends--Germans--customers. So I took uh, I took German language, German language as a second language. And this helped me actually in the concentration camps, because uh, there were, there were times when I--because of, of, of the knowledge of, of German I had easier job. I, I, I could--I had to fill out something that I was working in a factory where they--in the factory they were replacing--repaired airplanes. And because I--of, of the knowledge of, of German, I was given a job to fill out forms and to be helpful to, to the workers there who worked. I mean, the paid--the pay--whatever, the earnings whatever they did, I had to fill out in German, naturally.


And it was much to my, my, my benefit was while others had to work outside, outside in the cold, in the, in the mud, I was inside--indoor, indoors and I had favors from the Germans--from the foreman who worked there and they brought me some piece of bread or a piece of, a piece of fruit or something, whatever. And--oh, and now about, about school, you want to know it? It was a normal...

All boys school or was it...

No, this was a co-ed. In the beginning, in the first years I was going to an all-boys school. But finally, later on, I was, I think, in the--when I was about fourteen, they combined two schools, a girls' school and made a co-eds. And uh, I thought it a very happy child--I was editor in--from the school paper.


And I was a fairly good student, always with good marks, so it was no problem for me. School was actually fun.


Yeah, school was really fun for me because uh, I enjoyed--I was in, in all the shows. I mean, we had that, a entertain...a school show or something. I was always in title role.

Oh wonderful.

Yeah, this, this was--I, I lov...I loved school and I really was interested in, in school work and school activities.

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