Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Berek Rothenberg - May 20, 1984

Daily Life

What uh, what did your mother do?

My mother was a housewife. She had plenty to do--she was two rooms. Only with--then with my sister was already a girl, about ten years old. So I remember this, this--the, the bedroom like we call here, it was a wooden floor with red, with red paste, pasted the floor--nobody could go in during the day to this room. And uh, my mother worked in the kitchen. I mean, she, she had to do--Monday was the worst day of my life because my mother had to wash clothes--not like in the United States you take and put it in the washing machine. Only we had to bring out a ???, it was a big tub--a wooden thing. And I had to go bring water. It was about two miles to go to bring the water. I had the shou...on the, on the shoulder to carry with two chains, two pails, because I was the second one from my brother. And then I couldn't send my sister for the, to bring the water, so I was elected already. And when came Monday, I, I said to God, "Why is Monday?" Because when my mother, my mother had to wash it, she had to boil it, she had to rinse it, and again rinse it. And it--so it was--she had--need maybe about twenty pails of water or maybe more. And in the winter time the, the--it was like--it was not a--with a handle--it was knocked out a hole and we had to throw in the pail and to pull out with a rope to put out the water. So when the ice was frozen we had to knock it out a hole and then take the pail and throw it in and pull out by, by the rope to the, the pails of water. So I had to bring again and go again and again and again.

Did your family have a car or a horse?

No, no. We didn't have even a bicycle.

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