Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Joseph Rotbaum Ribo - July 5, 2005


What about school? Did you go to public school?

Uh, I succeeded to go to first class only. Actually I started in one of the villages that was where we still lived eh, before we came back to the town, and continued in Głowaczów when already the war broke out.

What was the village?

Two villages was considered my father's territory. That's why, uh, every summer we lived in one of those two villages, to pick up the fruits when they became ripe, and market them in different--Głowaczów is not a--marketplace isn't in the vicinity. And um, everybody knew us there, of course, and we knew everybody there, and we were very welcome and accepted. We played with the, the children of the villages and we went into the forest with them and everything...

Non-Jewish children?

Non-Jewish, yeah. They were the only ones there.

What were the names of the two villages?

One was Ursynów, and the other one was Cecylowka.

Um, did you go to Polish schools? You went to...

Yeah, the first grade.

And cheder as well?

Yes, I went to cheder and also--and um, until I ran away from there.

Tell me that story.

That story. Okay, during the war, of course, father was recruited into the Polish army, and uh, we had quite eh, difficulty to keep up the family eh, without him. And eh, one day, I was walking with two friends in, in the town, after the occupation, of course, and when we passed near the German headquarters, we were taken by the German, the German men, the soldiers. They brought a lorry of eh, of bread loaves, and they had to unload them from outside the headquarters inside somewhere near the kitchen. They needed people to throw from one to the other the loaves inside. And the two cousins, we stood in the line, and we transferred the loaves from one to the other. And after we finished, they gave us a bowl of soup and a piece of bread, which two of us ate, and the first one didn't because it wasn't kosher. But me and another one did eat. The one that didn't eat, he probably told my eh, rabbi who taught us in the cheder. And next day when I came, he asked me what I ate, I said yes, so he gave me a beating--what they call a ???, no? And anyway, I didn't go back again.

What did your parents say about that?

Well, my father was still in the, in the, eh, prisoner of war camp and mother accepted it.

So what was a typical day? Would you go to cheder after, after public school? Or would you...

Yes, after public school. Before that--before you started public school, you went in the morning, already. They start at the age of four or five, going to the cheder.

To cheder. So you'd go...

Even, even when we lived in the village, the, my parents rented--a, a, a melamed would come eh, twice a week I think and eh, give us lessons in the village.

Like a tutor?

A tutor.

So you'd go to have Jewish education early in the morning...


...and then you would go to school...

That's right.

...and then...

And then we'd run around, we were kids.

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