Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Leon Salomon - June 18, 1990

Relationships with non-Jews

When the war began, or before the war began, did you or your family have any kind of relationships with non-Jews in the city?

Not really. Being the fact that you are extreme religious, there is no way that you really can have much of a contact with the population. Reason being because you cannot eat the same thing, you cannot because Kosher and non-Kosher, there were quite a difference, but even though the non-religious didn't have much of a mixing as far as social mixing is concerned.

What about economic?

Economically in our place, no, but maybe some other places perhaps, yes. If you are talking about grain buying and maybe meat buying, there must have been connections with economically yes. The only mixing was let's say, we had a store, and initially this store was open for everybody, so we had customers, Jews as well as Polish customers.

But you had no friends?

Friends, no.

Do you remember any incidents of anti-Semitism when you were a boy?

Yes, we use to have picket lines, don't buy from the Jew, this was the couple years before the war. It wasn't as bad at the time when Pilsudski was living, at that time the Jews enjoyed much more of a freedom. Since his death progressively things started getting a bit more worse. This was a time that Smigy-Rydz, he was the successor to Marshal Pilsudski. Jewish kids many times use to go in with fights, the fights were mostly initiated by the Poles, of course; Jewish kids never defend themselves. They got beaten up and that was that.

What did you father think of Marshal Pilsudski?

Well, with Marshal Pilsudski I remember my mother use to tell us a story that he somehow got saved in the war time for liberation in 1917 or so. He was dressed as a woman and then he was saved by a Jewish family or something of that sort. And so, he felt this alliance to the Jewish people.

So your mother talked to you about him?


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