Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Esther Posner - March 11, 1986

Religious Life

Your father was a kosher butcher.


So your family was religious.


Um, do you remember anything about uh, the, the tradition in the household?

It seems that most of my memories that have to do with before the war--before we went into hiding--I was six when we went into hiding--almost all those memories have to do with the synagogue and with religious life. Um, that's pretty much it. I, I remember the synagogue very well, and as a matter of fact we went back to that same synagogue after the war and it had been plundered. I mean, the brass plates on which the men put their hats when they went to shul were missing and the marble had been taken out and I think that the benches had been used for firewood and uh, it just didn't look the same. Uh, we could no longer use the, the balcony for the women upstairs because uh, it wasn't safe anymore. The building had had some damage to it, um...

What was the name of the shul?

Lekstraat Shul--it's just the name of the street that it was on. And I, I found out from uh, ???, a friend from Holland when he was here, that that's now a Resistance Museum. It's no longer being used as a shul. So that's what they're using the building for. Uh, where we lived it was uh, the south of Amsterdam, Amsterdam Zout, and there were a lot of Jewish families living there, not exclusively--not like you have here in Detroit, where some areas are exclusively Jewish, but there were a lot of Jews there. And um, you know. I went to kindergarten, I remember going to school there, and, uh...

In public school?

I know a lot of the kids were Jewish in that class. It must have been a public type school, though.

But a neighborhood school.

You know what it was, it was just a room in a--in like an apartment, a, a row of houses and one of the houses was just--it must have been a private kindergarten. And, uh...

This was during the war.

No--well, yeah, right, before '42. This was all before '42. In '42 we had to move from where we were living and go to a part of Amsterdam that had been set aside for only Jews. There was a ghetto in Amsterdam. But before that we uh, we lived in, in this particular part of Amsterdam.

What was Friday night like, do you remember?

Um, no.


I don't remember. I absolutely don't remember. I--the things I remember are going to that shul, and I remember uh, going to someone who had a sukkoh, because we apparently didn't have one of our own, but we went to visit someone who had a sukkoh. Um, I re...the funny thing I remember, my father had a uh, um, a red Indian--that's a kind of a motorcycle--and he used to deliver uh, meat on that and I remember going with him on his--on that motorcycle on Friday afternoon because he was in a hurry and, and we really had to rush to get everyone their meat in time. Uh, that, that's about--I haven't thought about that in a long time. I really don't remember too much.

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