Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Felicia Shloss - February 9, 1983

Life Before the War

All right. Let's go back then. Um, tell me something about your life before the war, in either Piotrkow or in Łódź--about your family, what your life was like in the Jewish community there.

Uh, we were going to school. I was young, and uh, we had--my father had four sisters and a brother. We had a grandfather and my mother also had--her family immigrated to Paris--to France so we didn't see too much of my mother's family but my father's family lived in Piotrkow. And uh, my fa...my grandfather was working in--at Cederbaum's. It was uh, they made chumash Jewish books, all the Torahs.

They printed them?

He printed them. And except that I remember him, he had a gray beard, and he was always writing and then my father explained to me, "That's the Sefer Torah that's in all the sanctuaries and the synagogues." He did that on his own at home.

So he was--so he copied them as well?

He didn't copy. I know where he--how do they--I remember only he was writing it. Maybe it's in their heads. He was an elderly man. He was my grandfather.

And did your father also do this?

My father was a printer in the newspaper.

Um, in Łódź he worked--your father worked for the newspaper?

Yeah. A Jewish newspaper

How many were there in your family?

We uh, I had two brothers and I had a sister, but she died when I was a child. And then I had a younger sister, too. She's here with me.

And how about aunts and uncles in Łódź?

I had uh, most of the family were in Piotrkow. I had uh, I think two aunts in Łódź. Uh, they were also--they were in the material--they were manufacturing material.


Textiles, yeah, I think.

Your extended family then--how large do you think--cousins, aunts, uncles?

I had uh, my--should I call them Jewish? Bluma.


My Aunt Bluma had three kids, and my other aunt had also three kids; two boys and a girl, and my other also two. My uh, Aunt Norma had older, she must have been the oldest sister on my father's side, and she had two uh, one son was married, he had a little a boy--a gorgeous little boy. He was uh, [pause] deported to Auschwitz and they, naturally, killed him. My uh, cousin went to Russia. He uh, they caught him once to work, and he couldn't carry--I don't know, he wasn't that strong--and a German want kill him, because he couldn't carry 100 uh, pounds or 200 pounds or 100 kilos of uh, flour. And if they caught you and you couldn't do it--but, for some miracle he got away, and he didn't want to stay in Łódź anymore so he went to--for safety to Russia, he's supposed to take his wife there, but he didn't.

Did he survive the war?

Uh, I don't think so.

How uh, of your whole family, how, how many do you think survived?

Just my sister and I. None of them that we--I even was in Israel was looking for people. Nobody survived.

And you have another uncle who had left before too?

Yes, my uncle was in Uruguay and he is-- he was alive until two years ago. He has a son and a daughter there. One of my uh, the cousin is a doctor--a rheumatologist.

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