Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Brenda Reiss - June 23, 1983

Religious Life

Was your family a religious family?

Very high religious.

Uh-huh. Can you tell me uh, about that? Can you tell me about a Friday night?

Friday night was always Shabbos, you know, Saturday they would close the business. And they were very high, high religious people, very high religious. My sister was a teacher from--by ??? all worked ???, you know, very high religious people. Yeah.

Were there many synagogues in Kalisz?

Oh yeah.

Uh-huh. Uh, can you tell me about your, your family? Uh, were a lot of your relatives living in the same town?

Yeah, my mother got five sisters and four brothers.

Uh-huh. Did they all live in Kalisz?

Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah.

Were you a close family?

Very close family, yes, very close family.

Um, while you were still living at home uh, were most of your brothers and sisters still at home also, or were...

They were married and also living in the same town, yeah, yeah.

Were you the youngest?

I was the youngest, yeah.

Okay, okay. What were your plans for your future before the war broke out?

Before I was very young, I just wanted to go to school.


And I had no future there. I knew it. I had no future, no future.

Were there many Zionist groups--youth groups active in...

I was not because I was in a very religious home. I don't know what this mean, a Zionist thing.


No, because my father was very religious, no. I wasn't supposed to belong there and I was just typical--in a Jewish neighborhood, you know, very high religious.

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