Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Felicia Shloss - February 9, 1983

Religion and Anti-Semitism

All right. Tell me now what you remember about school uh, uh, your life with your family. What, for example, was it like in your house on a Friday night?

Friday night we had a traditional dinner with the candle lights and fish--everything traditional. And uh, Saturday my father used to go to the synagogue. And he always brought a soldier with him home for dinner. Um, there were Jewish soldiers, I guess, stationed in the city. So he brought a guest home for dinner. We always had uh, people for dinner. I went to school and then I belonged to uh, a Zionist organization that we went on weekends. Even we were in Poland, but we were like a separate, separate nation, because we were together always--Jewish kids and our uh, dream--everything--was Israel at that time, as a kid.

Did anyone you know leave, and go to Pal...what was then Palestine?

Yes. We supposed to go too, but I guess it was so hard to get to Israel.

Did you have non-Jewish friends?

I had some, but not too many because I guess my parents uh, it was like a different nation. My parents were afraid for uh, I don't know. I had--my brother was oldest so he must have been nineteen or twenty and uh, it was terrible if a Jewish boy went out with a non-Jewish girl or vice versa. So we were restricted in that way, and they were beating us up! You, you couldn't...

Were you or any of your brothers ever, ever beaten in the streets?

Sure. Anytime you walked--I remember when I went first time to school, I was seven-years-old and uh, I want to--it was--in September, it was really hot, I want to drink a little water and a little boy, same age as I, slapped me, I guess, and said, "Go to Palestine, Zydowa, go to Palestine."

Any other incidents?

Uh, incident I was maybe, nine-years-old and um, my brother was seven--the younger one--and we went home from school and they were building--that was in Piotrkow--and they were building um, they were um, making sewers or something, and one of the boys pushed us down and throw on us stones and sand and then some of the kids saw what's going on they called for my brother--they didn't tell my parents what's happening to us, but they told my brother. I guess he was the, the strong boy, or he was uh, very uh, very smart boy and he came and he saw that he's throwing stones and they told that they pushed us down, so that he, he took off his--I don't know what he did, he made him a bloody nose. And then uh, they came to us and you know what it mean a Jewish boy beat up a Gentile, it was terrible. So they came to our house and my father was so smart, at that time, he right away sent him to my grandma. My grandma lived in the more Jewish section than we did--and he uh, sent him there, it took maybe two, three weeks, until it quiet down, to uh, that he could go back in that section, they would kill him. The police were looking for the zydac, zydac he want to kill him and uh, my father sent him there, and then after a while it was a court date--the boy that he was beat up, the father was an attorney of the post office, and he said that uh, my father should give him 350 złotys because he went with him to a doctor, and it costed him money, and zydac was screaming and yelling in our house, it was terrible. And then, my father didn't want to. He said, "I'll give you the money if I have--it will be ignored, then I'll give you the money."


And it was at court, and my brother was an excellent student--he was all A student, and uh, somehow he uh, it was at the end that two little boys in the fight, and then the lawyer told my father not to say that he pushed us down, it would be more up for revenge then two little boys had a fight. So it as the normal thing to, and they didn't do anything to us, or to my brother.

So he didn't have to pay?

No, he didn't.

Your father trusted in the law?

I guess so, he was more modern and he uh, he knew something more than--the very religious didn't--were always giving that uh, cheap like that.

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