Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Berek Rothenberg - May 20, 1984


How many brothers and how sisters did you have?

I had four brothers and one sister. So my oldest brother, he was born 1917. He was a tailor.

What was his name?

Yudel, Eddie. In Jewish it was Yudel and here they, they translated to Eddie. Then I had--then I was, I was born in 1921 ???, so Berek. Then I had a sister Leah, then I had a brother ???, then I had another brother ??? Gedaliah, named after my grandfather.

And your, your mother's family, how long had they...

My, my mother's family--they lived a long time. Only they, they lived in another town called Ożarów. And not far--about, about twenty-seven or thirty kilometer from my hometown. And they, they lived--we all were from uh, from generations, generations from Poland.

Uh, what language did you speak in the house?

Yiddish. We speak Yiddish and Polish. Oh in the house we didn't--on the street we spoke Polish. On the house we--just Yiddish. And they, usually in Poland, from the working class we all use Yiddish language, even middle class. Or the high intelligence, like the--with the college or universities or something, they tried to assimilate themselves. So they started speaking Polish between themselves. Only mostly in Poland the Jewish people used the language Jewish. That was their mame'loshen.

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