Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Regina Silver - June 21, 1982

Affect of War on Her Religion

Um, did you start practicing your religion again during this time? Was there any, uh, comeback of Judaism?


How did the war affect your relationship with Judaism?

Uh, to tell you the truth I can't tell you anything uh, it affected, affected me a lot. To think what, what the, the Germans did to the nicest uh, people and to the, the, the best intelligent people—what they killed the rabbis right away the first thing that they killed the rabbis and they killed all the, the, the better people you know even the better uh, intelligent people couldn't survive because they weren't used to, to a hard life. Even the Polish people, they um, uh, people where they live like they were rich before the war they wasn't used to hunger, they wasn't used to hard work. This, the wars people, the, this, people uh, was, they was like (slap of hand) fly, like flies they die. A lot of people died in Russia from, from diseases a lot from, from typhoid from typhoid fever, there were like--wasn't medicine.

Were there doctors?

Was doctors but they didn't have the medicine to give them--everything went for the soldiers.

Were there doctors in this Diktarka?

Diktarka, yeah there was doctors.

I pronounced it right that time.

There was a lot of lady doctors.

Oh, lady doctors?

A lot of lady doctors in Russia.

Did you leave Judaism or do you feel you became more religious because of your experience?

No, I didn't became more religious. I was like this, the same, I, I believe uh, what I remember from my from mein uh, father, let him rest in peace, but I wasn't, I, I don't know, I believe in uh, goodness more than in a, in a--I believe a, a person should have a good heart and help other ones and I believe you shouldn't lie, you shouldn't steal, you shouldn't take anybody's--you, that's all what I believe I don't believe in all this uh, all this meshugaas, that's all. I, I just say every religious is just a spirit; you have to have everything inside. To me is a, if a person is good, a pers...a person wouldn't uh, see what if you sit and hungry and I'm eating I would, if you can't share and offer, you just uh, be selfish and eat yourself, to me a mentsh we could share is like a person you could share and feel and, and you could help it's more valid than a, than a Jew who goes with the payes and sit and shuffles. I have a stepmother in my--in Buenos Aires she sit and davens and davens every day she davens. She was, she wasn't good to me she even didn't treat my father good. She was a shlekht mentsh. She was a bad person. Even she was ??? religious. You could die before her eyes and she wouldn't share nothing with you. So to me ??? she has nothing inside.

You say that she is still alive in Buenos Aires now?

Yeah. She's still alive in Buenos Aires.

How old is she?

She must be about 78.

What year were you born in, can I ask? Can I ask your birth date—you never gave it?

When I was born? 1915.

What was the date?

The 15th of April.

Oh tax day.


Our tax day is April 15th here in this country.

Yeah, ah.

Did you receive news when you were, after you were in uh, Turkestan, did you start receiving news about the extermination?

No, no.

You never heard any of it?

Nothing till we came back to Poland ???

Did you ever see one of the extermination camps after you came back?

No. I didn't see my husband saw it, but not me.

How did you keep track of time? They had, you had newspapers or no?

In Russia?


There was the Russian uh, papers we had but we didn't know anything about what's going on in, in Poland what the Germans do to the Jews.

Did you keep any sort of diary?

No. My whole diary's in my head.

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